2 Minnesota turkeys drive nation's capital loony


Washington, D.C., has gone to the birds. Specifically, two Minnesota turkeys.

The toms in question would be Caramel and Popcorn, who were raised on a farm near Badger, Minnesota, and, for a few moments Wednesday, were the focus of the power center of the Western World.

At a widely publicized afternoon ceremony, President Barack Obama pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey, an event the White House this year gave a new social-media twist by asking the public to vote on which of the two birds should be the official national bird.

The public's favorite? Popcorn. (For the record, both will be spared.)

The Obama administration (your tax dollars at work here) generated extra buzz this year by creating a webpage profiling the two turkeys with their vital stats, and even audio of each bird's call. You'll find other info, too: For the record, Caramel prefers to listen to the song "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga and Popcorn is partial to Beyonce's "Halo."

The turkey pardon is an old tradition, and over the decades it has quietly played out at the White House. But in the age of social media, the whole event has got a lot of wattles wagging this year in the nation's capital. One Washington Post blogger argues it is the dumbest tradition in America.

More gobbling:

The Washington Post has a video with everything you need to know about the tradition, and it includes an interview with Minnesota farmer John Burkel, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, who brought his prized birds to D.C. He tells the Post a bit about how he has "trained" them to be used to handling and noise so that no one gets a "wing in the face" during the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Politico went behind the scenes, visiting the swanky hotel suite in Washington where the birds were waiting for their moment in the trotlight (see photos here).

Next Up

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.


For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.