Mayor Allender pardons ‘Big Bird the Turkey’

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:26 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The centerpiece for Thanksgiving meals is turkey, but Tuesday one lucky turkey was saved from the dinner plate.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender pardoned Big Bird the turkey in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Main Street Square. This is the second turkey Allender has saved from forks and knives following Gobbler’s pardon which came last Thanksgiving. This year’s lucky fowl will now live out the rest of his days without the worry of ending up on a dining room table.

”May Big Bird the turkey retire to Bear Butte farms near Sturgis, and may he peck and scratch to his waddles content, without worry of being chased down for the holiday feast,” exclaimed Allender during the ceremony.

Pardoning turkeys around the Thanksgiving holiday is a national tradition that dates back to President Abraham Lincoln pardoning his first turkey in 1863.