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UPDATE: Mount Vernon Cancels Turkey Welcoming Ceremony

Pardoned turkeys will reside at Mount Vernon until Jan. 6.

The Mount Vernon Estate has canceled its National Thanksgiving Turkey welcoming ceremony originally scheduled for Wednesday.

The ceremony has been cancelled due to the time change of the White House turkey pardoning ceremony.

"It will be dark out by the time the turkeys reach Mount Vernon," Mount Vernon Media Relations Director Melissa Wood said in an email.

The turkeys will arrive at Mount Vernon following a pardon from President Barack Obama at the White House. In past years, the turkey has been welcomed with fanfare and carried in a horse-drawn carriage to the front of the mansion, where Washington’s farm manager, “James Anderson,” reads a proclamation.

Two turkeys are actually sent to the White House each year for the annual pardon in case one gets sick during their trip to Washington, The Washington Post reports. This year’s turkeys were raised by Craig and Nancy Miller, who live just outside Harrisonburg, according to the Post.

According to the local TV station in Harrisonburg, WHSV, the National Turkey Federation picks the turkeys every year and this year's chairman, who is also the president of Cargill, picked Virginia to send the turkeys. It has been 18 years since the Commonwealth was chosen for the event.

According to the Millers, the two toms weigh 40 pounds each and are currently spending their time at the W Hotel before the White House ceremony.

Both turkeys will be on display during Christmas at Mount Vernon through Jan. 6. They will reside in a custom-made enclosure near Aladdin, a camel representing the camel George Washington had on the Estate’s grounds to entertain visitors during Christmas 1787. The turkeys will reside at Mount Vernon’s livestock facility after the holiday.

Scott Hasty November 21, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Check out the song I co-wrote, "Tasty the Turkey", on this very topic: http://tastytheturkey.com/ Tasty is a very special bird who uses his intelligence, pluck and patriotic tail to save himself at Thanksgiving by getting a presidential pardon. Take a look at the video and free coloring book at the link above.

julie haushalter November 21, 2012 at 01:42 PM
The siblings of Gobbler and Cobbler are Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. They are really friendly! They are living out their natural lives as free range turkeys on White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The farm is open to the public for free viewing of the turkeys. whiteoaklavender.com

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