Meet Corn and Cob, 2020's Pardoned Turkeys — and See Them Celebrate in a Luxury Hotel
A pair of turkeys offered a reprieve on Tuesday as part of the White House’s annual Turkey Pardoning ceremony lived it up at a luxury Washington D.C. hotel, welcomed with a red carpet and plush beds to rest their weary beaks.
This year’s turkeys, Corn and Cob, spent the night at The Willard InterContinental hotel, greeted by an excited group of (masked) onlookers and festive holiday decorations, according to the White House.
“It ain’t home, but it’ll do!” the National Turkey Federation tweeted after their arrival. “Their bags are unpacked at the @WillardHotel and the turkeys are ready to relax before meeting the press. Now, where’s the minibar?”
Both turkeys, born on July 2 and raised in Walcott, Iowa, will retire to the campus of Iowa State University after their pardon -- they were even gifted some Iowa State regalia to get them in the school spirit -- but only one will be named the National Thanksgiving Turkey. And Americans have the chance to vote to decide which one will get the honor.
Corn, who weighs 42 pounds with a 35-foot wingspan, is a chatty one who loves college football, chasing storms, and snacking on — you guessed it — corn, according to the White House. While Cob, who weighs 42 pounds and has a 34-inch wingspan, is more Type A, spending time with puzzles and excited to visit the Washington D.C. monuments.
Corn and Cob will be pardoned at 2 p.m. at The White House.
The turkey pardon is an annual tradition dating back to President Abraham Lincoln, who spared a turkey’s life after it was brought to him for Christmas dinner — and later declared Thanksgiving a national holiday — according to Town & Country’s history of the event.
President George H. W. Bush then became the first president to officially grant a turkey the Presidential pardon, the White House noted.
Last year, President Donald Trump pardoned Bread and Butter, who went on to live in their new home at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest.”
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.