Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington, Vt., said it will host its annual Free Cone Day on April 9. More than a million scoops of ice cream will be given away.

The idea of handing out free ice cream started back in 1979, when co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened the doors of their renovated gas station and threw a party for the citizens of Burlington. The idea turned into an annual event.

"We're nothing without our fans," said Ben & Jerry's CEO Matthew McCarthy. "This is one of our favorite days of the year. It's a special tradition, and I can't wait to see all the smiles and happiness Free Cone Day brings. It's all about saying thank you to our fans."

This year, Ben & Jerry's announced ambitious plans to eliminate single-use plastic in its Scoop Shops worldwide. Fans can help cut down on waste by ordering their scoop in an edible cone instead of in a disposable cup.

For fans who are not near a Scoop Shop, Ben & Jerry's is holding a sweepstakes. Three lucky winners will receive a year's worth of free ice cream, the company said. Details can be found at