Monday, March 20th, 2017, is the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. Several businesses are celebrating by giving out free food. Here’s what’s going on (scroll down for some free activities that don’t involve food):

Rita’s Ice

Rita’s Italian Ice has been celebrating the first day of spring with a freebie for 25 years by giving away a free cup of ice. Last year they gave away almost a million cups of ice. They’ve got a contest going on this year. Post a picture of you and your ice on social media, with the tag #RitasFirstDayofSpring and you can might win free ice for a year. Follow the above link for more details.

Dairy Queen

This year Dairy Queen is getting in the “first day of spring” swing of things too. Stop by for a free cone. They’ll be collecting money for Children’s Miracle Network.

Dunkin’ Donuts

This one is for the Uptown workers. If you have to be in Uptown Charlotte early Monday morning you can get rewarded. Dunkin’ Donuts will be at the Disk Plaza (Trade and Tryon) from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and will be giving away a donut and a sunflower to the first 300 people. So if you see people walking around with a sunflower you can rest assured that they ate a donut and did not share with you.


Stuff to do that doesn’t involve eating

Maybe instead of (or in addition to) celebrating with sugar you’d like to bring in spring a different way. Here are some free things going on Monday, March 20th. Follow links for details:

– Music Without Borders: A chamber group from the Charlotte Symphony will be performing a concert celebrating the musical contributions at immigrants. It’ll take place in the Knight Theater lobby at 12 p.m., perfect for your lunch break.

– Lunchtime Concert: Another free lunchtime concert, just a few blocks north. Pasquale Rucco and Douglas James Classical Guitar Duo will be performing in the Center City Concert series at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 12 p.m.

– Spring Equinox Hike: A guided hike through the woods at Stephens Road Nature Preserve in Huntersville. The hike will include several short stops for nature connecting activities, and a short meditation by the water. 6 p.m.

– Open Mic at Legion Brewing: Every Monday evening at 7 p.m. there’s an Open Mic at Legion Brewing in Plaza Midwood. All originals, no covers.

This story first appeared at

Photo: Courtesy of Rita’s