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Here’s how to score free cheesecake on National Cheesecake Day 2018

Elizabeth Haro of Lansing enjoys some original plain cheesecake with strawberries from Eli's Cheesecake Thursday at the Taste of Chicago. | Sun-Times file

The sunny weather is a delight in itself, but summer has another treat: National Cheesecake Day.

The annual holiday is celebrated on July 30 and this year a Chicago favorite, Eli’s Cheesecake, is marking the occasion with free slices of the dessert.

The local bakery, which first zoned in on selling cheesecake in 1980, will dedicate multiple days to National Cheesecake Day. On Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eli’s will host its annual Cheesecake Festival with dessert-themed games and entertainment at its Dunning location, 6701 W Forest Preserve Drive. Highlights of the festival will include photo opportunities with mascot Big Slice and free cheesecake samples all day.

Sweet festivities will continue Monday, on National Cheesecake Day, when the president of The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Marc Shulman, will join Big Slice to hand out free slices of the signature dessert at four different locations, including at Eli’s on Forest Preserve Drive. Fans of the Chicago bakery will notice Eli’s mobile truck in these locations across the city:

  • Noon: Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park, 228 E Chicago Ave.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark Street
  • 3 p.m.: Cubby Bear, 1059 W Addison Street

Eli’s will also be tweeting locations with #ElisMobile. A few of their dessert options include the Eli Smooth, cheesecake and ice cream, Eli’s Dippers, and frozen cheesecake on a stick.

Also celebrating National Cheesecake Day? The Cheesecake Factory. It will debut two new flavors: the Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake and the Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake. All slices of cheesecake will be half-off for patrons who dine in on Monday. The national chain has one Chicago location at the John Hancock Center 875 N Michigan Ave.