On Tuesday, November 21, President Donald J. Trump will be exercising his pardoning powers yet again. This time, however, he’s granting clemency to two lucky birds, "Wishbone" and "Drumstick," as part of the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey tradition.
Ahead of their pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden today, the aptly-named turkeys were found strutting their stuff and fanning their feathers in style around Washington, D.C. And judging by their luxurious hotel suite, the birds definitely received better amenities and services than most human varieties. Even though the turkeys didn’t stay in the nearby Trump hotel, they got a good night’s sleep at another four-star D.C. hotel on Monday night.
In their two-bedroom suite at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in downtown D.C., Wishbone and Drumstick relaxed on their plush, queen-sized beds and watched football. Naturally, the hotel staff made sure the feather- and down-layered pillows were fluffed to perfection for the flightless duo. When Wishbone and Drumstick weren’t resting in their room, they were spotted gobbling up the VIP treatment in the lobby area of the hotel.
Their suite was outfitted with the usual complimentary amenities you’d find in any hotel room, only with a few notable exceptions. Instead of a coffee maker and mini bar, Wishbone and Drumstick were supplied with things like water, food, and straw. The National Turkey Federation (NTF) took care of the tab for the presidential-esque suite, which, for the average guest, can cost anywhere from $200 to $3,500 a night.
Even though these male birds were flown in from Minnesota, they’re clearly Southerners at heart. The 36-pound gobbler, Wishbone, is apparently a big country music fan and loves Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. Honestly, who doesn’t? Drumstick, on the other hand, weighs approximately 47 pounds and is more of a classic ‘80s rock enthusiast.
According to NTF Chairman Carl Wittenburg, who helped to raise the two turkeys in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," Drumstick loves the bands Foreigner and Journey. Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" was one of the songs that made him shake a tail feather back on the farm. No word yet on whether Wishbone has gotten around to listening to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s new joint album while in D.C.
Fortunately, the pampering and star treatment will continue for Wishbone and Drumstick once they leave the White House on Tuesday. Their new place of retreat will be at the Southern haven, "Gobblers Rest," which is a special facility at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Under the watchful eye of students, professors, and veterinarians, the turkeys can be expected to be waited on—wing and foot.
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Harry Truman was the first president to receive the National Thanksgiving Turkey in 1947 from the National Turkey Federation. However, the formality of "pardoning" a turkey began with George H.W. Bush in 1989. In celebration of its 70th anniversary, President Trump continues the longstanding Thanksgiving presentation with Wishbone and Drumstick.