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Rita’s is giving away free water ice next week

Josh Middleton

It may not feel like it outside right now, but spring is only six days away. Know how we know? Sure, it happens on the same day every year, but Rita’s is once again blessing us with its traditional first-day-of-spring ritual: free water ice!

On Tuesday, March 20, the local-based water ice chain hosts its 26th annual First Day of Spring celebration with gratis water ice all day long at all 600-plus locations around the country. Mark your calendar. Get ready to stand in line—and bring $1 if you want your treat topped with frozen custard.

To sweeten the pot, Rita’s is also hosting a contest called the “Ultimate Hooky Trip,” in which guests can submit funny excuses for ditching their daily responsibilities to stand in line for free water ice on the Rita’s Italian Ice Facebook page. Three of the best excuses will be chosen and then included in a poll that the audience can vote on. Whomever wins will not only receive free water ice for the rest of the year, but a three-day, two-night trip for two to sunny Miami—which actually sounds pretty damn nice right now, huh? For official contest rules, go here.

Fun fact: Rita’s was originally opened in 1984 in nearby Bensalem, PA, by a Philadelphia firefighter named Bob Tumolo. Named after his wife, the venture became so popular that it’s grown to include 600 locations in 31 states. All locations are giving away free water ice next Tuesday, so there’s plenty to go around. Happy brain-freezing!

GET VOCAL FOR YOUR LOCAL: Vote for your favorite water ice joint in the Time Out Love Philadelphia Awards

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