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National Ice Cream Day is upon us, and here's where to get free treats

Harriet Baskas, Special to CNBC
Source: Carvel

On Sunday, win some free ice cream for The Gipper.

Unbeknownst to some, the third Sunday of every July is National Ice Cream Day — a holiday declared by President Ronald Reagan back in 1984 to promote the economic well-being of the U.S. dairy industry. It was a nod to the fact that the frozen treat is produced using nearly 10 percent of U.S. dairy farmers' milk supply.

Reagan's proclamation also called on the people of the United States to do their duty and pay tribute to ice cream with "appropriate ceremonies and activities." So who are we to argue?

Here are some of the events and activities for people — and pets — taking place this year on Sunday, July 17, and in some cases beyond.

At Carvel Ice Cream franchises around the country, customers who buy one cup or cone of any size will get one free on National Ice Cream Day. The soft-serve ice-cream company also has a promotion underway for buy one, get one free sundaes each Wednesday.

Pets get to participate in the ice cream-palooza this year, thanks to PetSmart, which is giving away doggie ice cream sundaes at all of its PetSmart PetsHotel locations in the U.S. and Canada on Sunday. The sundaes, which are made with dog-safe vanilla soft serve and have dog biscuits sprinkled on top, are usually an add-on service treat.