Tuesday, November 20, 2007

......Going to Disney World

On Tuesday, President Bush will take part in an annual event that has it's 60th edition this year. The winner of that event will be treated much the same as Disney's "What's next?" advertising campaign participants. That campaign is famous for asking a star player after each Super Bowl, "What's next? "

The winner though of the first-class ticket to Orlando on a United Airlines flight and the red-carpet entry to Disney World won't be a sports star but instead........ the officially pardoned turkey from the White House. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom will get to see the bird on Thanksgiving Day, when it will serve as the grand marshall of the holiday parade before joining their permanent live-animal collection. In years past, two other pardoned turkeys have had the trip of a lifetime to Disneyland but this is the first to fly south to Disney World.

The presidential turkey is far from any random turkey chosen at whim by the White House staff. Each year, a farm is designated as the donors of the turkey and they choose probably a dozen turkeys as the late summer approaches as hopefuls. By late August, those birds that have been chosen are being carefully fed and groomed to look and act their best in from of a national audience.

Only two birds are chosen for the actual trip to Washington DC and usually spend the night before the ceremony in a service corridor at the Hotel Washington. The turkeys are presented to the President by representitives of the National Turkey Federation and last years birds were named Flyer and Fryer through an online poll through the White House. After both birds have been pardoned from the oven for this year, they are commonly sent off to live the rest of their natural lives at an animal farm.

Both Flyer and Fryer were whisked off in 2006 to Disneyland... while this year, the yet to be met turkeys will be saying ( if they could talk)........ I'm going to Disney World!

Of note: photo of Pres Bush and Flyer, 2006

Update: November 20

This year's nationally pardoned turkeys hail from Indiana and weighed in at about 45 pounds each. Presidents since Trueman have been performing the ceremony but in recent years, the national public can take part in an online poll to vote for the names of the two birds.

On Thanksgiving Day, May and Flower will be enjoying the "easy life" in Disney World where after performing their official dutied there in the holiday parades, they will enjoy the rest of their lives in the backyard of Mickey's Country House in the park.

Runners up in the naming contest included: Wing and Prayer, Jake and Tom and Wish and Bone.

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