Governor pardons turkeys as part of Thanksgiving tradition
The 2021 Governor’s turkey pardon. Bird Flu has forced the cancelation of this year’s event (Radio Iowa photo)

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds continued the annual tradition Tuesday of pardoning two turkeys from becoming Thanksgiving dinner.

“Now, therefore, I, Kim Reynolds, Governor of the State of Iowa, do proudly proclaim Squash and Stuffing as symbols of Iowa’s great turkey industry — and they are free to roam,” Reynolds says. 

The two turkeys are from a farm in Ellsworth and walked right up in front of the governor as she read the proclamation on the back lawn of the Terrace Hill governor’s mansion.  She mentioned how they got their names. “We want to give a shout-out to the fifth-grade class at West Marshall Elementary who helped name the turkeys. And the turkeys are Squash and Stuffing,” Reynolds says.

Reynolds talked about the importance of Thanksgiving after the proclamation pardoning the turkeys. “We’ve been through a rough couple of years and so I love that life is getting back to normal and people can gather with their families, do it safely and responsibly and just count their blessings — because we have a lot to be thankful for,” she says. 

The turkeys walked around and did not make any noise throughout the ceremony or after. The governor says they will now be taken to Living History Farms.