Evolution of the White House Turkey Pardon

President Obama to host his final Thanksgiving turkey pardon

As many families gear up to prepare food and gather with family and loved ones for Thanksgiving, President Obama will have one task to complete before he officially celebrates the holiday on Thursday.

Continuing a decades-old White House tradition, Obama will pardon the final turkey of his presidency.

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The president will name one turkey the National Thanksgiving Turkey. He'll have to choose between two contestants: Tater and Tot.

According to a White House news release, the two 18-week-old birds share the same birthday and have a similar height, weight and wing span.

Tater is said to have a "strong" "gobble style" and "walks with swagger," while Tot has a "confident" gobble style and "walks with a relaxed saunter."

Wednesday's turkey pardon will be Obama's eighth and final time participating in the ceremony before President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January.

In years past, Obama has pardoned more than one turkey each year, although usually only one turkey is named National Thanksgiving Turkey. Previous turkeys have been birds named Courage, Carolina, Apple, Cider, Honest, Abe, Cobbler, Gobbler, Mac and Cheese.

After Wednesday's ceremony, Tater and Tot will be sent to Virginia Tech, where they will be cared for by veterinarians and students of Virginia Tech's Animal and Poultry Sciences Department at "Gobbler's Rest" in Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Read more at WhiteHouse.gov