NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A few turkeys in Newport News are breathing a sigh of relief after receiving pardons ahead of Thanksgiving.
Mayor McKinley Price bestowed the act of mercy for the three turkeys living at the Virginia Living Museum. It’s the 10th-annual turkey pardon.
Price says its one of his favorite parts of being mayor.
“It’s a tradition. We’ve started our own here in Newport News. You can tell by the turn out the kids love it,” he said.
Dozens of children and their families showed up to the museum to celebrate the mayoral pardon. Crafts such as turkey leg crowns and turkey callers were made in honor of the event’s three special guests.
Some children were excited to be a part of it, but a few were also upset.
“I’m mad. I want to eat it,” said Camden Coates, who was there with his family.
At least someone was thankful for the pardon: That’s “Hokie,” the male turkey whose life was not only spared Wednesday, but who also got a name.
“He weighs 16 pounds. He hangs out with a couple of hens out in the exhibit. He’s a really cool animal and we’re glad he got pardoned again this year,” said George Matthews, who is the museum’s curatorial director.
Matthews says Hokie has lived at the museum for about six years but was finally named after the community voted for a name in a contest leading up to Wednesday’s event.
The names to chose from were Monanow, Sir Vivor and Hokie.
In honor of the pardoning, the museum also participated in a “Fill the Canoe” fundraiser where nonperishable food items were dropped off tor the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.