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McDonald’s to give away more than 10,000 Boston Coolers July 24 to celebrate Detroit’s 315th birthday


Detroit is turning 315 and the largest restaurant chain in the world, McDonalds, has a plan to celebrate … a free Boston Cooler for every dine-in customer in any one of the 28 locations within the city. No purchase necessary.

It happens from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, July 24. Get there early. The deal is only good while supplies last.

“On behalf of my fellow Detroit McDonald’s restaurant owners, I’m inviting everyone who lives, works and entertains in Detroit to join us and toast our great city with a delicious Boston Cooler,” says Jon Campbell, Detroit McDonald’s restaurant owner. “I hope to see lines out the door of customers coming to McDonald’s for a free Boston Cooler. I know our customers will be lovin’ our big giveaway for Detroit’s birthday.”

It is expected 10,000 people will come in to take advantage of the free giveaway that honors Detroit’s 315th birthday.


The Boston Cooler is a treat that dates back to 1875 when Fred Sanders decided to add ice cream to Detroit’s hometown ginger ale, Vernors.

Here’s a bit of trivia. The Boston Cooler has no connection to Boston. It gets its name from Boston Blvd. in Detroit. Vernors was invented by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor in 1866.

“Let’s join together in sharing our pride in celebrating this great city,” says Campbell, who was born and raised in Detroit. “That pride and passion extends to all of us Detroit McDonald’s restaurant owners. We’re proud of our bond with the City of Detroit where we opened our first restaurant more than 50 years ago.”

This is not the first time this year McDonalds has shown its support for the city. Back in February, McDonald’s Corporation and Detroit McDonald’s restaurant owners pledged to remodel 13 locations by the end of the year.

“This is an exciting time to be in Detroit. A lot of businesses are coming to the city, an area that we have been invested in for some time,” says Campbell, referring to McDonald’s long history of supporting the City of Detroit and the many neighborhoods where it operates.

With 13 renovations underway, it is not the last of the plans to fix up and modernize the restaurants.  Many others have been fixed up in recent years.  By the end of this year, every McDonalds in the city will have a new look and updated feel to it.

The improvements include upgrading the exterior, remodeling the lobby, adding new building signage, and refreshing the restrooms, landscaping and parking lots.

Renovations were done by local Michigan contractors, architects and suppliers. Updates include new digital menu boards, cushioned seating, high and low-top tables and large drum pendant lights defining the seating areas to provide a sense of privacy.

The grand re-openings of several City of Detroit McDonald’s restaurants are slated in the coming weeks. Here’s a look at the new interiors.

McDonald's restaurants interiors., Detroit, Mi, February 19, 2015

McDonald's restaurants interiors., Detroit, Mi, February 19, 2015

This is not the first time that McDonalds has taken an active part in supporting the city. It hosts a turkey giveaway at Thanksgiving for families in need, donates hats and scarves in the cold winter months and backpacks filled with school supplies to students.

McDonald’s corporate staff, restaurant owners and community volunteers built a new playground at the Northwest Activities Center that serves approximately 250 youth each day year around.

In addition, McDonald’s brought the movie Race, the biopic about gold medal champion Jesse Owens, to the Detroit back in February. Owens lived in Detroit in the 1940s and worked for Ford Motor Co.

The restaurants also host McTeacher Nights, inviting local educators, students, parents and families to “work” at McDonald’s and raise money for school programs.

McDonald’s Detroit owners are also being acknowledged for their hard work. Earlier this year Joni Thrower won the Ray Kroc Award, which recognizes the top one percent of McDonald’s restaurant managers from around the world. Thrower manages the McDonald’s restaurant at Detroit Metro Airport McNamara Terminal.

Finally, when we think of McDonald’s we usually picture Kids Meals, Chicken McNuggets, burgers and fries. We should also picture the Ronald McDonald House on St.Antoine, which provides a place for families to stay while their critically ill children are in the hospital. It’s minutes away from Children’s Hospital of Michigan and provides hope and support for those families facing very difficult times. It’s a place where many McDonald’s employees volunteer … as well as many other Detroiters.

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