President Donald Trump will participate in the 70th annual National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday, sparing two birds the fate of landing on a dinner table this Thursday.
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As is customary, there are two turkeys, including one back-up, which arrived in Washington, D.C. over the weekend from western Minnesota. The turkeys have been staying at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in downtown D.C., keeping with another tradition of letting the birds live in luxury leading up to their big day. Rooms at the hotel can cost as much as $6,000 per night for a presidential suite, according to the website, though the National Turkey Federation is expected to foot the bill for the two lucky turkeys.
After the ceremony, the turkeys will be sent to an enclosure at Virginia Tech called “Gobbler’s Rest,” according to The White House, where they can be seen by visitors and cared for by students. They will join the turkeys pardoned by President Barack Obama.
The names of this year’s turkeys, which are chosen by the White House, are Wishbone and Drumstick. The average lifespan for the breed is about 3 years, according to a National Turkey Federation executive. Currently, both of the turkeys are less than 6 months old.
Unfortunately, most turkeys in the U.S. won’t be awarded the same cushy fate as this year’s chosen ones. According to the National Turkey Federation, about 46 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving Day in 2016, 20% of the total amount of turkeys eaten over the course of the entire year. Additionally, a large portion of the birds come from Minnesota.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the cost of turkey has been on the rise, too. Over the past decade, the price per pound of a frozen turkey has risen at least 46%.
The turkey tradition began when the National Turkey Federation gave a live bird to President Harry Truman 70 years ago.