So far as fake holidays go, National Donut Day, held every year on the first Friday in June, is a pioneer. It's not nearly as fake and overtly contrived as johnny-come-latelys like, say, 7-Eleven Day. The Donut Day tradition started way back in World War I, with Salvation Army workers providing donuts to soldiers on the front lines in Europe.
In addition to its air of authenticity, National Donut Day is beloved for fairly obvious reasons. People love donuts. People love freebies. As for how they feel about free donuts, well, love just isn't a strong enough word.
Thankfully, participation in National Donut Day seems to grow year after year. On Friday, June 5, there are no fewer than eight outlets giving away free donuts. Here's everything you need to know about National Donut Day freebies:
From 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday,customers at participating Cumberland Farms locations who purchase a coffee (hot or iced) or a Chill Zone beverage (fountain and frozen drinks) are welcomed to select a free donut. The offer is limited to about half of Cumberland Farms' 600 locations--the half that have been recently remodeled and include an area for freshly baked goods, like donuts.
All day on Friday, June 5, customers at participating DD locations can pick the free donut of their choice with the purchase of any beverage.
In a partnership with The Salvation Army, Entenmann's is hosting epic donut giveaways in select cities around the country, including Boston; Buffalo; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Wilmington, Del.; and New York City. At the latter, Entenmann's plans on providing 40,000 free donuts and free coffee to all comers from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Madison Square Park.
Fractured Prune Doughnuts
This small, celebrated donut chain with roughly two dozen locations—mostly along the East Coast, but with a sprinkling in the West and Midwest too—will give each customer one free OC Sand donut (honey glaze with cinnamon sugar) on Friday, no purchase necessary. A few locations aren't participating or are offering a slightly different freebie so check with your local shop for specifics.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Krispy Kreme earns our award as arguably the most generous of all National Donut Day participants. There is no purchase necessary to get a free donut on Friday, and customers can pick any flavor donut they want.
Launched in Kansas City, this donut chain now has locations in six states stretching from the Deep South to the Rockies, including a dozen shops in Colorado alone. LaMar's matches KK in terms of donut generosity on Friday, granting customers any variety of donut free of charge, no purchase necessary.
From 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, participating Shipley Do-Nuts locations are giving away one free glazed donut per customer, no purchase required. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Shipley has dozens of locations clustered in the corridor between Kentucky and Texas. One location in Houston is even hosting donut-eating contests on Friday morning. Winners get free tickets to a local pro soccer match that night, in addition to all the free donuts eaten during the contest, of course.
Download this coupon and, with the purchase of any hot beverage, get a free chocolate hazelnut donut filled with Nutella at Tim Horton's. Note that this offer isn't limited to Friday: The coupon is valid all the way through August 30, 2015. [UPDATE: Tim Hortons will also have a separate offer just for National Donut Day, in which each customer can get a free donut with any purchase. The details will be on the company's Facebook page on Friday.]