WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is set to get the holiday mood started at the White House with the traditional pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey.
The light-hearted ceremony in the Rose Garden on Wednesday afternoon will feature Iowa-raised turkeys Tater and Tot.
The White House asks people on Twitter to vote for which turkey will receive the pardon, though both typically get a reprieve.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 22, 2016
The White House blog provides a biography for each bird to help in the decision. For example, Tater’s favorite snack is worms. Tot prefers tomato slices.
Meet Tater, one of two National #Thanksgiving Turkeys who will join President Obama at the White House tomorrow for the annual #WHTurkeyPardon. Tater enjoys snacking on worms and walks with swagger. Learn more about the annual tradition at the link in the bio (and don’t worry, both birds will live free and happy lives at their new home at Virginia Tech after Thanksgiving!). #TeamTater ?
Meet Tot, the second turkey joining President Obama for tomorrow’s #WHTurkeyPardon. Tot enjoys snacking on tomato slices and walks with a relaxed saunter. Since 1947, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation has presented a turkey to the President of the United States, who grants a pardon to the bird—and at the request of his compassionate daughters, Sasha and Malia, President Obama has pardoned both birds brought to the White House since taking office. #TeamTot ?
Presidents as far back as Abraham Lincoln have spared turkeys. President George H.W. Bush is credited with beginning the tradition of a pardon.
After the ceremony, the president and first family will volunteer at a community service event.