The wait is almost over. Every year, the first Friday in June is celebrated as National Donut Day—though lots of people refer to it by a different name: "Free Donut Day." The holiday was first celebrated during the Great Depression, as a way for the Salvation Army to raise money and awareness for its social services, which among other things provided donuts and coffee to American soldiers during World War I.
Nowadays National Donut Day is mostly celebrated for freebie promotions at participating donut seller locations all over the country. (Several of the giveaways also collect donations for the Salvation Army and other causes.) Here are the donut freebies we know of so far, starting with the offers that require no purchase or other hoops to jump through in order to secure your free donut. We'll add to the list as more free donut deals surface.
Krispy Kreme: Every customer gets a choice of any free donut on Friday, June 3, no purchase necessary.
Entenmann's: A total of more than 150,000 donuts will be given away in more than a dozen cities around the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Louisville, New Haven, New York City, and San Diego, plus Entenmann's is hosting a sweepstakes on Facebook with 10 lucky winners getting free donuts for a year.
Randy's Donuts: Customers get free donut holes at this famous Los Angeles donut shop from 6 a.m. to noon on National Donut Day.
Duck Donuts: Go to the Facebook page of Duck Donuts—a chain with dozens of East Coast locations stretching from the Jersey Shore to North Carolina—for a coupon valid for a free sugar donut on National Donut Day.
Dunkin Donuts: Get one free donut with the purchase of any beverage.
Cumberland Farms: Purchase any coffee or fountain drink between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday and take your pick of a free donut.
Honey Dew Donuts: Purchase any medium-size beverage and you'll get a free (Up)Beat Cancer Donut, which is chocolate frosted, has blue and red sprinkles, and was created to raise cancer awareness.
Giant Eagle: Every Friday, including National Donut Day this Friday, Giant Eagle supermarket locations offer a half-dozen donuts for free when you purchase a half-dozen.
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Fractured Prune: Not all of this Ocean City, Maryland-based donut chain's locations are participating in National Donut Day, but most shops in Arizona are giving away free donuts (with drink purchase), and locations such as Owings Mills in Maryland are offering free OC Sand donuts (glazed, covered in cinnamon sugar) with no purchase required.