Friday is National Donut Day, when bakeries nationwide are offering free donuts and other discounts and deals.
The origins of the donut -- or doughnut, if you prefer -- are steeped in mystery. Bakers have been serving fried dough for millennia, but in the mid-1800s, sailor Hanson Gregory swore his mother, Elizabeth, came up with the idea of a round pastry with a hole in the center, where the dough might not cook through. She filled the space with hazelnuts, according to Smithsonian magazine, and called the delectable treat a "doughnut."
National Donut Day itself originated in 1938 as a way to honor the "Doughnut Lassies," women who had served donuts and compassion to soldiers during World War I, and served as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army during the Great Depression.
Here are some national and regional chains offering National Donut Day deals. Check with your local haunts for more glazed, sprinkled and jelly-filled goodies.
On Friday, Dunkin' is offering a free classic donut with the purchase of any beverage. (Go wild and spring for the new Cake Batter Latte.)
You can find the nearest Dunkin' location on the company's website.
Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the chain is going all out for National Doughnut Day (its preferred spelling) with a variety of offers: Guests can enjoy any one donut for free without purchase or buy a dozen original glazed donuts for $1 when you buy a dozen regular donuts or 16 mini donuts at the normal price. (Or do both, we won't judge.)
At select Krispy Kreme locations, you'll also get a coupon to return on June 10 for a free new mystery glazed donut the company teases is "berry sweet."
And all day on Friday, Krispy Kreme baseball caps are 50% off. After enjoying all those donuts, your head might be the only part of you that hasn't expanded.
Tim Hortons Rewards members who buy a donut on the chain's app or online through Sunday will get their next donut on the house.
To celebrate "one of the best days of the year," according to a press release, 7-Eleven is offering a buy one, get one free deal on donuts through Sunday at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes locations.
You have to be a 7Rewards or Speedy Rewards member to get in on the deal, so sign up now.
Voodoo Doughnuts Visitors to Voodoo Doughnuts can celebrate all day Friday by ordering their signature Homer, a raised yeast doughnut with strawberry frosting and round sprinkles, for only $1.
The offer is available in-store only in the chain's Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Texas locations.
Founded in 2006, this donut shop has more than 100 locations. Duck Donuts will be giving visitors a free cinnamon sugar donut on Friday, with no purchase necessary.
Participating locations will also sell a plush version of Ollie, Duck Donut's official mascot, while supplies last.
The company is also sponsoring a photo contest on Instagram: Post your "most creative, crave-able and beautiful-looking" donut photos between now and Sunday, with the tag @duckdonuts and the hashtag #MyDuckDonuts in the caption -- and you could be one of five winners to receive a dozen donuts.
Shipley Do-Nuts has more than 300 locations, mostly in the southern US and heartland. From 5 a.m. to noon on Friday, the company is celebrating National Donut Day by giving away a signature glazed donut to all guests with any purchase.
Lamar's is offering a free donut to all-comers today, no purchase necessary. The bakery -- which has 26 stores in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska -- is also delivering free donuts via drone to frontline workers and military personnel.
The convenience store chain, based primarily in New England, New York and Florida, is offering a free donut of your choice between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. with the purchase of a hot or iced coffee or "Chill Zone" beverage.
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