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Sheridan Alexander

National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoned at the White House and Now Living at Mount Vernon Estate

By November 23, 2011

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One of the more lighthearted White House events, the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation and Pardoning Ceremony, takes place each year just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Following the 2011 annual White House ceremony on Wednesday, November 23, the pardoned National Thanksgiving Turkey and the runner up (present each year and also pardoned, just in case the National Turkey is not able to fulfill the obligations of the position) were transported to nearby George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate in Northern Virginia.

This is the second year the pardoned turkeys have been taken to Mount Vernon after the pardoning ceremony. The National Thanksgiving Turkey, named Liberty this year, received a ceremonial Mount Vernon welcome complete with a trumpet fanfare and the reading of a proclamation. A horse-drawn carriage guided by 18-century re-enactors delivered Liberty to a custom-built pen, where visitors will be able to see him throughout the Christmas at Mount Vernon celebration from November 25, 2011 until January 6, 2012.

Liberty's holiday neighbor is Aladdin, an adorable Christmas camel like one that George Washington had on the estate grounds to entertain his guests during the Christmas of 1787. Once the holiday season ends, the Thanksgiving turkey and the alternate will both live at Mount Vernon's nationally recognized livestock facility for the rest of their lives.

Related Articles Photo Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images
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