Every year, just before Thanksgiving, two turkeys are granted reprieves from the dinner table via White House edict. This week, those turkeys are coming from a ranch in the Charlotte area.
The New York Post reports that the two turkeys, named Chocolate and Chip, were selected from Circle S Ranch in Monroe, North Carolina by the National Turkey Federation. President Joe Biden will participate in the annual tradition Monday (11/21) on the White House South Lawn.
The history of the turkey pardonings is a bit hazy. The White House Historical Association believes it could date back to President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. However, the pardons truly became an annual tradition under President George H. W. Bush, who occupied the White House from 1989 to 1993.
After this year’s pardoning ceremony, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will fly to North Carolina, to share a Thanksgiving meal with service members and their families at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Dubbed a “Friendsgiving” dinner, it’s part of the White House’s “Joining Forces” initiative.
Following their pardon, Chocolate and Chip will be transported to Raleigh to live out the rest of their days at North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Until then, the turkey twosome are enjoying luxurious, first-class accommodations at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in our nation’s capital.
NTF is pleased to welcome the National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate to Washington, D.C.! Join us at 1 p.m. ET when we introduce these celebrity gobblers from North Carolina as they prepare for a visit to the @WhiteHouse on Monday.— National Turkey Federation (@natlturkeyfed) November 20, 2022
Watch live 🦃👉 https://t.co/1BR3y5hVUx pic.twitter.com/ISyTMQtb7M
The National Thanksgiving Turkeys made it safely to D.C. with @natlturkeyfed and are getting the star treatment with a walk on the @WillardHotel red carpet. pic.twitter.com/8my0aBbOJY— NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (@NCStateCALS) November 19, 2022
🔑 Checking in! Upon arriving in D.C., the National Thanksgiving Turkeys received the full red carpet treatment along with a photoshoot before tucking in for the night. A special thanks to the @WillardHotel for pulling out all the stops for these special birds. pic.twitter.com/vtI1ExsfOw— National Turkey Federation (@natlturkeyfed) November 20, 2022
It’s been a busy day for two turkeys! Chocolate & Chip hosted a “press gobble”🎤 at the @WillardHotel and met lots of new friends. Now, it’s time for some rest before heading to the @WhiteHouse tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/n3jKZK6lw7— National Turkey Federation (@natlturkeyfed) November 20, 2022