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Dairy Queen #ConeWithMe: Get a free ice cream cone and help your community (+video)

Dairy Queen is celebrating Free Cone Day Monday, the first of a cluster of free ice cream days popping up in celebration of spring. In addition to giving away free cones, Dairy Queen's Free Cone Day is raising money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

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    Dairy Queen Free Cone Day has the ice cream cone chain giving away free soft-serve Monday, March 16, 2015, spreading the news using the hashtag #ConeWithMe.
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How's this for a tell-tale sign of spring: Along with the crocuses, a cluster of free ice cream cone days is popping up across the country, springing winter-weary consumers into a warmer state of mind.

First up is Dairy Queen. In honor of its 75th anniversary, the frozen treat shop known as DQ is offering free cones of vanilla soft-serve ice cream all day Monday at participating Dairy Queens.

Using the hashtag #ConeWithMe, the chain is promoting its Free Cone Day on social media.

Recommended: National Ice Cream Day: 7 smooth recipes

The only thing better than free ice cream? Free ice cream that promotes positive change. In addition to giving away free cones, DQ is raising money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity that provides support for children's hospitals nationwide. The ice cream chain is encouraging customers to donate to the charity when they pick up their free cones. All donations collected Monday stay in the communities in which they are raised to support local kids at area Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Dairy Queen was founded in 1940 near Chicago, just two years after the soft serve formula was first developed. Today, there are more than 6,400 restaurants in 27 countries. The Dairy Queen chain is based in Minneapolis, and is now owned by Warren Buffett's Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

There's more free ice cream ahead: Just a few days from now on March 20, Rita's Italian Ice is giving customers a free Italian Ice to mark the first day of spring. Looking further down the road, on April 14, Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating spring with its Free Cone Day. And as Time reports, yet another free cone day usually takes place annually at Haagen-Dazs shops in May, but no specific date has been announced yet for 2015.

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