Central Pennyslvania is a funny place, what with the Amish
and Pennsylvania Dutch and such. The Penna. Dutch like to make up things to satisfy their needs, and hense, Fastnacht day.
For those of you who don't live in Central Pennsylvania (York/Harrisburg/Lancaster Area; A.k.a. Amish Country), a fastnacht is a donut, but a little heavier. And Fastnacht Day is the day before Ash Wendesday. Okay, but what exactly is Fastnacht Day? Well, it started out as a Penna. Dutch tradition. Saying that when Lent starts, you don't eat any food that has been cooked in fat. So the Crazy Dutchmen (I can say that - I'm one of them.) decided to use up all of their unused fat by basically frying it along with other stuff (If I was at my grandma's house I could get you the exact recipe. I'll post it when I get a copy) and you get a heavier version of a donut.
For some crazy reason, part of the tradition stuck. Now, every second Tuesday in February, you can get a free donut just about anywhere in Central Pennsylvania. A local chain of donut stores, Maple Donuts, always gives away free glazed donuts and coffee on Fastnacht Day. Local Dunkin' Donuts give away free donuts (usually with purchase), as do some smaller farm stores. Even area businesses and schools give out donuts.
Yeah, some people hate Central Pennsylvania... but come one, for one entire day, the tri-county area celebrates donuts for chrissakes. That's pretty damn cool. I'm curious if any other areas celebrates something similar.