Two former Carthage, Mo., residents will be on hand in the White House Rose Garden to watch a Thanksgiving tradition.
Two former Carthage residents will be on hand in the White House Rose Garden to watch a Thanksgiving tradition.
Lori Garrett will accompany her husband, Ed, to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. They will be in the Rose Garden at the White House on Wednesday to watch as President George W. Bush spares a turkey from becoming the main course at a Thanksgiving meal.
"I think it's going to be interesting, exciting and a little bit scary," Lori Garrett said. "I thought it was wonderful when he told me we were going to Washington. I was excited about it and I've been excited about it for a while, and the closer it gets, the more exciting it gets and the more nervous it gets."
Ed Garrett is the CEO of West Liberty Foods, a farm coop based in West Liberty, Iowa, that provides most of the turkey to such companies as Subway sandwich shops and Arby's restaurants.
Ed Garrett said West Liberty Foods Chairman of the Board, Paul Hill, is also chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and as such will donate two 45-pound turkeys to the White House for Wednesday's ceremony.
The couple will fly out with the Hills on Tuesday and be there to witness the ceremony.
"It's a good time," Ed Garrett said. "The turkeys actually get to spend the night in the penthouse in the Willard Hotel across the street from the White House. The penthouse is theirs alone, they are up there with one attendant and then Paul and myself and the rest of us with the turkeys stay in the hotel as well, but the turkeys get the penthouse."
This year marks the 61st year of the National Thanksgiving turkey presentation, which started in 1947 with a presentation to Harry Truman.
Ed Garrett said the penthouse at the Willard Hotel is not the only pampering these lucky birds will get.
After the ceremony, the birds will receive a police escort from the White House to the airport, where they and the Hills will fly first class on a commercial flight dubbed Turkey One to California, courtesy of Walt Disney's Disneyland.
The turkeys will then participate in Disneyland's Thanksgiving parade, then live out their days in a petting zoo in California.
The Garretts won't accompany the turkeys on that trip. Lori Garrett said she and Ed will go back to Iowa on Wednesday so she can prepare for their Thanksgiving dinner.
"It never even entered my mind that I'd ever get to do something like this," Lori Garrett said. "It's going to be a short trip, but very exciting."