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Beats an Oven: 2 Pardoned Turkeys Land in Disneyland

After their presidential reprieve, Marshmallow and Yam call Frontierland home.

November 25, 2005|Jean O. Pasco | Times Staff Writer

It was a good Thanksgiving for Marshmallow.

While his trussed and roasted brethren were adorning holiday tables across the country, the white-feathered bird strutted and gobbled atop crystal stairs on the leading float of Disneyland's Thanksgiving Parade.

One of two turkeys "pardoned" this week by President Bush, Marshmallow was named the parade's grand marshal, an honor tied to the park's 50th anniversary. He and fellow pardoned gobbler Yam were flown first class to Los Angeles, then transported to Anaheim.

The turkeys began their lives on a farm in Henning, Minn. They'll now live out the rest of their days at Disneyland, first at the holiday Reindeer Forest at Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland. After that, they'll be kept in a ranch area behind the park with other cast animals.

The 35-pound turkey took his marshal duties in stride, said Valerie Sukovaty, a Disneyland spokeswoman. The national turkeys are raised with lots of human contact "so they don't freak out on the president," she said.

An announcer regaled the crowd with Marshmallow's pluck. His reprieve and subsequent honor drew media attention from around the world, including China and France.

"He looked like he was having a good time," Sukovaty said Thursday.

The 18-week-old tom was kept in a special backstage dressing room before his afternoon debut. Delighted children dressed as Pilgrims and American Indians then joined Marshmallow on the float.

Which appeared to make the bird, of course, the happiest turkey on earth.

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