November 22, 2023

TURKEY NEWS: Mayor Issues Turkey Pardon; City Employees Share Holiday Favorites & Plans

Mayor Jason Salamun pardoned Giblet Johansson in a ceremony at Main Street Square November 22.  The pardon ceremony was hosted by Home Slice Media Company. Mayor Jason Salamun pardoned Giblet Johansson in a ceremony at Main Street Square November 22. The pardon ceremony was hosted by Home Slice Media Company. (City Photo/Shoemaker)





Area turkey hen gets official reprieve

from Mayor Salamun after vote of citizens

RAPID CITY, SD—Mayor Jason Salamun issued a full and complete mayoral pardon to Giblet Johansson at a ceremony today (November 22, 2023) at Main Street Square.

      The event, hosted by Home Slice Media, included an online vote by the public to determine which one of two turkeys - Giblet Johansson or Feather Fawcett - should be spared a traditional holiday fate.  Giblet won the public vote!

      Mayor Salamun issued the pardon to the fan favorite, offering clemency to the lucky clucker.

      This is the third year Rapid City’s mayor has been called upon to issue an official turkey pardon – granting gobbler grace if you will. 

        Both turkeys are from Bear Butte Gardens. Giblet will be able to live the rest of its life at a farm near Custer, away from the holiday table and all the fixings.  The lucky turkey will join Gobbles and Big Bird, who received mayoral pardons from Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender in 2021 and 2022.

       As to Feather Fawcett, the turkey returns to the farm and has been advied to keep a low profile during the holiday period.

       Pardoning turkeys around the Thanksgiving holiday has been part of national and many state and local traditions. Presidential historians indicate the first presidential pardon of a turkey dates all the way back to 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared clemency for a live turkey that was brought to the presidential residence for Christmas.




RAPID CITY, SD—When it comes to Thanksgiving holiday traditions, City employees like most Americans have their traditions, from playing board games, watching football, sleeping in, going shopping and making sure what is – and is not – on their holiday plate.

            And they have a definite perspective on what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday season.

             City employees and officials were surveyed recently on their Thanksgiving plans, traditions, and holiday favorites.  There were some predictable, and not so predictable, responses.

What are you thankful for?

           When it comes to what they are thankful for, more than 85 percent of the respondents referenced family, friends and good health. Others referenced having good jobs and life in general.

What is your Thanksgiving main dish?

         When it comes to the main dish on the holiday table, 57.4 percent will be dining on turkey. Another 28 percent will dine on turkey and ham, 5.9 percent will have ham and the remaining selections include prime rib, lasagna, venison, brisket and vegetarian.

What is your favorite ‘must have’ side dish?

             As to the ‘must have’ side dish on the holiday table, more than a quarter (26.5%) will have mashed potatoes and gravy to go with their main dish with stuffing or dressing a close second at 22.8 percent. Another 10.3% of respondents must have green bean casserole on their holiday plate, followed by cranberries at 8.1%, yams or sweet potatoes 5.9% and deviled eggs at 4.4%.

What is your least-favorite side dish?

             City employees also have definite opinions on what they don’t want on their holiday plate or table. Among the least favorite side dishes: 22.1% dislike cranberries – no matter if they are whole, jellied or in salads.  Coming in a close second as the least-liked side dish was green bean casserole (19.1%), followed by sweet potatoes or yam dishes (13.2%), stuffing/dressing (11.8%) and brussel sprouts (4.4%).  Nearly a third of the respondents referenced such disliked side dishes as creamed peas, oyster casserole, giblets/gizzards, scalloped corn and any salads containing jello.

Do you like green bean casserole?

           When it comes to green bean casserole, respondents are split down the middle with 51.5% of the respondents saying they like the side dish with 48.5 percent saying no.

What about pumpkin pie and cranberries?

           Almost nine in 10 (88.2%) like pumpkin pie and nearly two-thirds (66.1%) saying they do like cranberries as part of their Thanksgiving Day feast.

Stuffing or dressing/sweet potatoes or yams?

            And when it comes right down to it, 67.6% of City employees surveyed prefer stuffing, 20.6% prefer dressing, 7.5% percent like both and 4.3% don’t like either.  Meanwhile, 60.3% prefer sweet potatoes, compared to 14.7% for yams; 16.2% don’t like either with the remaining liking both dishes.

Will you watch football or the parade on TV?

            When it comes to watching football and the parade on TV on the holiday, 61.8 percent will watch the football games and 48.5% will watch the annual Macy’s parade on television.

Where will you spend Thanksgiving and how will you spend it?

           Of the survey respondents, 41.2 percent will be spending Thanksgiving at home with 38.2 percent spending the holiday with family or friends within the Black Hills region. A total of 17.6 percent of the respondents will be traveling out of the area.  The remainder will be working on the holiday.

           And when spending time with family and friends, City employees selected multiple choices for activities they will be enjoying - with nearly two-thirds spending at least part of the holiday playing board games, cards or cribbage and 55.8 percent of them watching football on TV at some point.  Nearly 40 percent will be spending holiday time experiencing outdoor activities and 26.4 percent will be going to the movies or watching movies on television. A total of 16.1 percent plan to go holiday shopping with 7.4 percent going hunting.

Black Friday shopping?

           On Black Friday, 36.8 percent plan to sleep in with 35.3 percent shopping online.  Only 7.4 percent of respondents plan to get up before dawn to hit the stores for bargains.

When do you decorate for the holidays?

          When it comes to decorating for the holidays, 38.2 percent of the City employees responding indicate they will decorate during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with 32.4 percent decorating closer to Christmas and 17.6 percent decorating before Thanksgiving. The remainder of the respondents indicate they don’t decorate for the holidays.


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