Millions of people across the nation enjoyed a free ice cream cone on Monday.
That’s because Dairy Queen is celebrating its 75th anniversary by handing out free vanilla cones all day. The first DQ opened in Joliet, Ill., in 1940.
Now, there are more than 6,000 restaurants in 27 countrie and the worldwide corporate headquarters is in Edina.
After 75 years of satisfying a craving for something cold and sweet, DQ just wanted to say thank you.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to do it than to offer free cones to our fans who have really made it all possible over the years,” Troy Bader, the chief operating officer for Dairy Queen, said.
That signature curl on top is more than just cute, it’s trademarked. And the soft serve that fills the cones and cups has less butter fat than traditional ice cream.
“When this was created the founders knew that ice cream tasted best before it was frozen into its hard state, and we have gone with that ever since,” Bader said.
Going to Dairy Queen appears to be a tradition that spans generations.
“It is even for our dogs. After the vet, they always got to go to Dairy Queen,” Chris Rainieri said.
“(When would you come?) After ballgames, soccer, baseball. Yep, the typical family outings,” Nathan Luger said.
Dairy Queen added hot food to the menu in 1958. We saw the first DQ Blizzard in 1985.
“People have an emotional connection to this brand and these products and it’s always been that way,” Bader said.
Dairy Queen’s actual birthday is June 22. They chose today, the 75th day of the year for the free cones and say there are more events planned throughout the entire year.
In April, look for some new blizzard flavors. Today they are also asking for donations to the Children’s Miracle Network which supports local hospitals. Most Dairy Queen locations are open until about 9 p.m.