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Pardoning of the Turkey kicks off Farmers Market winter season

Pardoning of the Turkey kicks off Farmers Market winter season

The Franklin Farmers Market will kick off its winter market season with the inaugural Pardoning of the Turkey event from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 21.

Sponsored by Herban Market, Franklin’s locally owned health food market. the ceremony will commence at 10 a.m., as Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson delivers a speech granting amnesty to the market’s most beloved domesticated bird, Danny the Turkey. Special guests will include State Veterinarian and co-owner of Hatcher Family Dairy, Dr. Charles Hatcher, serving as the event’s master of ceremonies.

There will also be live music presented by bluegrass band Jon Martin and Friends. Children’s art activities, food trucks, prepared foods, locally grown produce, and other regionally produced ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner will be available to all market shoppers at this special event.

Danny, the event’s star of the show, is a white royal palm heritage breed turkey and the pet of Sue and Adam Turtle of Earth Advocates Research Farm. His friendly demeanor and affectionate disposition has earned him a permanent residence on the Turtle’s farm where he enjoys to be petted and to sit in visitors’ laps.

Danny the Turkey will be available for photo opportunities the day of the event. Children can also engage in a Thanksgiving-themed drawing activity at the designated art tent.

Preceding the event, local elementary school students will draw pictures of Danny and write letters to Commissioner Johnson asking him to pardon the gentle gobbler. The commissioner says he is enthusiastic to participate in such an agriculturally-related event.

“The Franklin Farmers Market has always done an excellent job of connecting local families to local farm foods,” said Johnson. “I’m especially pleased to be a part of this special event because it extends that connection to school children who are learning about the importance of agriculture in our lives.”

The Franklin Farmers Market’s Pardoning of the Turkey will also provide attendees with the opportunity to purchase fresh fall produce for their Thanksgiving meals. Staples such as sweet potatoes, heirloom carrots, celery, fresh herbs, and locally produced cornmeal and bacon will be in abundance, in addition to handmade artisan goods and gifts for the holidays. Enjoy seasonal fare from local food trucks and vendors, including old-fashioned doughnuts, hand-poured coffee, crepes, fresh-pressed juices, baked-goods, biscuits, and more.

The Franklin Farmers Market is a producer-only market open year round to local families. To learn more about their winter market of farmers, bakers and artisans, visit the website at

Photo – Danny the Turkey is the pet of Sue and Adam Turtle of Earth Advocates Research Farm.

More Information:

Blog News Post about how Kids can participate and win a prize.

Blog News Post about the event:

Direct link of Kids coloring sheet of turkey outline and letter writing space for Pardoning Danny the Turkey: