Thanksgiving Tradition: Gov. Kay Ivey Pardons Turkeys
For the 74th year, the governor of Alabama has pardoned turkeys for Thanksgiving, but this year there was a twist.
Traditionally, the turkeys that the governor pardons at a ceremony on the grounds of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion have been named “Clyde” and “Henrietta.” But not this year.
Following the results of a Twitter poll, this year’s turkeys got new names, “Gobbles” and “Cranberry.”
The annual turkey pardoning began in 1949 with Gov. “Big Jim” Folsom and Bill Bates, who started the Bates Turkey Farm in Ft. Deposit, which supplies the turkeys. It will turn 100 years old next year.
Other state agriculture leaders attend the event each year, and school groups provide entertainment. This year, Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Rick Pate, Johnny Adams of the Alabama Egg & Poultry Association and Becky Bates Sloane from Bates Turkey Farm spoke. Students from Montgomery Christian School and Riverchase Day School students performed.