The presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his alternate precedes the official annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning at The White House. At this media event the turkeys are available for photos and interviews are giving by the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation and others. This year’s turkeys were raised by Joe Hedden of Foster Farms in California’s Sonoma Valley under the supervision of National Thanksgiving Turkey Chairman, Dr. Jihad Douglas. The yearly tradition, while all is good fun, requires some special preparations. The turkeys are trained to be around bright lights and crowds. They are acclimated to loud noises by listening to music. Hedden said this year’s turkeys have a preference for country music and gobble when the radio it tuned to a country music station.
Both turkeys will reside at their new home, Morven Park in Leesburg, VA following the presentation. Morven Park has served as the “forever home” to the presidentially pardoned turkeys since 2013 and each year’s pardoned turkeys become know as the “Luckiest Turkeys in the World.” The turkeys love visitors to their retirement home at the peaceful and historic Turkey Hill Farm at Morven Park.
The Willard InterContinental Hotel is proud to host the National Thanksgivings Turkeys at this annual event.