National Free Slurpee Day is on July 11 and we can’t wait to get our sugar fix while beating the heat, for free. 7-Eleven began celebrating the day back in 2002, but the beloved frozen treat has been around since the late 1950’s. With more than 300 flavors —ranging from sweet (Vanilla, 7-Elemon), to sour (Warhead, Sour Apple), to the exotic (Mango, Lychee)— there’s a Slurpee for every palette.
*Please note that National Free Slurpee Day 2020 was cancelled by 7-Eleven because of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
History of National Free Slurpee Day
The Slurpee, created by Omar Knedlik, was first known by the name ICEE. Like many great inventions, it was discovered purely on accident. Knedlick got the idea after one of his soda fountains broke down, forcing him to put his sodas in the freezer to keep cool. The resulting soda slush was a hit with Knedlick’s customers prompting him to create a machine that would freeze carbonated drinks.
Realizing the success of the ICEE, 7-Eleven made a licensing deal with Knedlick in 1965 to sell the product under a different name; one that would only be sold in its stores. In 1966, the Slurpee was officially born. The name was coined by an advertising executive referencing the sound made when drinking it.
By the spring of 1967, every 7-Eleven store in the country had a Slurpee machine. To fuel the rising Slurpee fanfare, 7-Eleven would introduce eye-catching —if not, risqué— names for its new flavors. Novelty names like Pink Fink, Moonshine, Sticky Icky, Gully Washer, and Adults Only were added to the growing list of flavors.
On July 11, 2002, 7-Eleven celebrated its 75th birthday by giving customers a free Slurpee, marking the first official National Free Slurpee Day.
As the name of the day implies, you go to a participating 7-Eleven, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and receive a free, 12-ounce Slurpee (while supplies last). Get there early since everyone in the know will undoubtedly want a free Slurpee, too. We’re not suggesting you camp outside a 7-Eleven, but do you really want to miss out on a FREE Slurpee?