Skip to Content

Mayor Patino pardons Tom the turkey on Thanksgiving Day


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - For the first time, Merrill Gardens hosted a ceremony to pardon a local turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s hard to tell what Tom the turkey is thinking, but he’s probably grateful to be alive.

“We came up with this idea to pardon the turkey,” said general manager Audie Sherberg of Merrill Gardens.

Merrill Gardens hosted a ceremony to officially pardon the bird with city mayor Alice Patino of Santa Maria who provided the certification.

“I figured if the presidents can do it why can’t we,” said Sherberg.

Some Residents dressed up wearing colonial hats as they listened to the words of Benjamin Franklin.

“Quote, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen to the representation of our country. In truth it is a turkey in comparison a much more respectable bird,” said Sherberg.

Residents shared what they’re most grateful for.

"It means they care and it means people people who work here are absolutely caring and considerate and they’re doing their very best and we’ve been blessed to have no cases of COVID here," said resident Cathy Wengler of Merrill Gardens.

The reality is we’re trying to keep everybody here safe we know it’s safe and to create an environment where it’s fun," said Sherberg.

"Thomas the gobbler has been spared for the day unlike the guy who’s sitting in my refrigerator that I’m gonna play in the roaster when I get home with the dressing that I made yesterday," said city mayor Alice Patino of Santa Maria.

While the turkey was the star of the show, residents say they had a great time being a part of the celebration.

After the ceremony, residents got to enjoy a lavish Thanksgiving feast at the facility.

Article Topic Follows: Video

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content