Presidential pardoned turkeys get VIP treatment at W Hotel - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Presidential pardoned turkeys get VIP treatment at W Hotel

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WASHINGTON -

Step right up. See these celebrity turkeys raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It's the "Turkey Capital of the World." And, now, they've arrived in the capital of the free world, staying in the swanky W hotel - which for the record - does allow pets.

"They've been good guests," says Ed Baten, General Manager of the W Hotel in Washington.

They have remained quiet in their rooms.

"We haven't had any noise complaints from their neighbors," Baten says.

Steve Willardsen, the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation says, "They've got it good."

That's because "Cobbler" and "Gobbler" will be making some history. Last February, Craig and Nancy Miller got a phone call at their home in Harrisonburg.

"Our local grow-out manager called and asked if we would raise the presidential turkey," says Craig Miller. "It's kind of a no-brainer. It's quite an honor for us."

They found a spot.

"Did some remodeling of an old barn and we called it the ‘Turkey Palace,"'says Miller. "It's really nice. These turkeys have had the treatment."

And kept it secure.

"I had their door locked," says Miller.

The turkeys have been at the W Hotel for just a day. They won't have far to go to get to the White House. Just a block or so. They won't walk though. They will travel by truck.

The turkey as a presidential gift dates back to President Harry Truman. It's not clear exactly when the pardoning began. We do know President John F. Kennedy sent his turkey back to the farm. And the tradition continues.

"I think our kids someday will look back and think, 'Wow, that's pretty cool,"' says Miller.

In the long term, the turkeys will live at Mount Vernon. They are 19 weeks old and weigh between 35 and 40 pounds.

At the W Hotel, the chef has been fixing snacks. The food is an organic mix of grains and cranberries that the turkeys seem to enjoy. The general manager says they are "gobbling it up" and they also seem to be gobbling up the spotlight.


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