It’s a 75-year-old Alabama tradition in which the governor pardons two lucky turkeys just in time to keep them from becoming anyone’s Thanksgiving dinner.
Gov. Kay Ivey was honored Monday in front of the Governor’s Mansion. She pardoned “Giblet” and “Puddin’,” whose names were chosen by the public in a social media poll.
For years the turkeys were always called “Clyde” and “Henrietta.” Last year, the two lucky birds were named “Gobbles” and “Cranberry” as the tradition took on a new twist, now in its second year.
The annual turkey pardon began in 1949 with Governor “Big Jim” Folsom and Bill Bates running the Bates Turkey Farm in Ft. Bates founded. Pawn that takes care of the turkeys. The farm turned 100 years old this year.
Each year, other state agricultural leaders also attend the event, and school groups provide entertainment. This year, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry Rick Pate, Johnny Adams of the Alabama Egg & Poultry Association and Becky Bates Sloane of Bates Turkey Farm were there.
Students from Montgomery Christian School and Riverchase Day School performed.