Weirdest Thanksgiving Traditions


Mary Huegel

Everyone does different things on Thanksgiving, but here are some of the weirdest Thanksgiving traditions performed in the United States:


National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation 

Since the 1940’s, US Presidents have been “pardoning” a turkey prior to Thanksgiving. Americans can watch on TV as the President is presented with a live tamed turkey which he will “pardon.” This chosen turkey is sent to live the rest of its life at a chosen establishment rather than becoming Thanksgiving dinner. 

Turkey Bowling

Starting in 1988 at Lucky’s grocery shop in Newport Beach, people can go bowling. This isn’t any ordinary bowling, however, but bowling with frozen turkeys and soda bottles. This event is a hit in Newport Beach. People just love rolling frozen turkeys down grocery store aisles.


At North Technical High School in Florissant, Missouri, Thanksgiving gives the students a chance to let out their pent-up frustration by throwing pies at faculty and administration. 

Turkey Trot

Turkey Trots are popular events where people dress as turkeys and run anywhere from 3 to 5 miles for charity. Trots are held nationwide and are great ways to shed some calories before your Thanksgiving feast. 

Turkey Eating Competition

Only the bravest of souls across the U.S. tackle turkey eating competitions. These competitions challenge the competitors to eat as much of a 20 lb turkey as they can in limited time. Currently, Joey Chestnut holds the title by eating 9 lbs of turkey in just 10 minutes!

Turkey Toss

Some high schools in Indianapolis, Indiana host this odd tradition of dressing raw turkeys in baby onesies, lighting them on fire, and seeing who can throw them the farthest. This tradition still occurs today.