Turkey named Booster is pardoned for Thanksgiving at Stew Leonard’s


(WTNH) – With millions of turkeys on the dinner table Thursday, a Connecticut turkey named Booster is getting a free pass.

The practice of pardoning a turkey dates back to the days of President Abraham Lincoln, and this tradition is kept alive in Newington.

Out of 70,000 turkeys, Booster is one of the lucky ones who get a pass. It’s because this turkey was pardoned. It’s called Booster, symbolic of what Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Sen. Richard Blumenthal want CT residents to do this holiday season: to get boosted against COVID-19.

That was the public health message Wednesday at Stew Leonard’s in Newington, the day before people gobble up turkeys across the state. Booster will now live on the same Pennsylvania turkey farm where he hatched.

“Every year I usually catch turkey, which I was taught on turkey farms, but I get cut every year,” said Stew Leonard Jr., owner of Stew Leonard’s.

“From what Booster told me, he’s seeing his friends go missing these days. One by one, Booster’s friends disappear and he wonders what’s going on. We’re here to reassure Booster that you’re going to see this Thanksgiving and future Thanksgiving, ”said Blumenthal.

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