Five Unusual Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is one of America’s biggest holidays, and is usually celebrated in a pretty traditional way. Turkey dinner with the family, watching sports and enjoying the good things in life.

But, in typical American fashion, there are also some odd traditions mixed into this mainstream holiday. These are five of our favourite unusual Thanksgiving activities…


The Presidential Turkey Pardon

Obama pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving

“Pardon?”. Yep, you heard right. Every year, the President will give a turkey a Presidential Pardon. This weird tradition started in 1947, when the National Turkey Federation presented President Truman with three turkeys – two dressed, one live. He sent back the live one, and the tradition was born – although the actual ceremony of pardoning began in 1988, with President Bush.

Breaking a wishbone

One you might already know about, breaking wishbones for luck is a standard Thanksgiving tradition. But definitely still a BIT weird.

Las Vegas Turkey Trot

Don’t worry – it’s the humans trotting, not the turkeys! This charity fun run has a variety of circuits from 1k to 12k, and is the perfect way to run off their Thanksgiving dinner for a good cause. In 2017, around 15,000 participants signed up – and although similar ‘turkey trots’ take place up and down the country, this one’s the biggest and best.

Visit Las Vegas


Thanksgiving’s all about the food, and turkey is your traditional bird on the menu. But some people like to take things a bit further, and decided to stuff a chicken inside a duck, and then stuff the chicken-duck inside a turkey. Hence, Turducken. We’ll leave that one for you guys to decide on…

A wilderness buffet

For most Americans, Thanksgiving is all about a day at home with the family. Which means lots of attractions are temporarily closed for the day. But in Zion National Park, visitors can enjoy an all-day buffet, with guided hikes available to help work off the feast.

 Visit Zion


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