The turkey President Barack Obama pardons on Wednesday in his annual pardoning ceremony will immediately travel to George Washington’s estate where it will live for the first time ever.
Although Disneyland has taken the turkeys since 2004, and a farm in Herndon, Va., took them before that, Mount Vernon is stepping in as the turkey’s place of domicile post-pardoning. The bird will arrive at its pen on a horse-drawn carriage, with trumpet fanfare and a proclamation read by Washington’s farm manager, “James Anderson,” at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24.
In 1789 Washington became the first president to issue a Thanksgiving proclamation, so it’s appropriate that the turkey comes to live here. Mount Vernon already has a number of wild turkeys roaming its grounds.
The bird that President Obama pardons will be on view during “Christmas at Mount Vernon,” a special program that runs through January 6. Mount Vernon will also showcase a camel named Aladdin during that time, representing the camel that Washington had visit Mount Vernon during Christmas 1787.
Because Mount Vernon displays only historic breeds of animals that Washington would have owned, the turkey will live out the rest of its days in Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility, away from the public. That means if you want to see the bird, stop by for Wednesday’s ceremony or our Christmas festivities. For more information on the turkey tradition, see the Washington Post.