Turkey Fest 2013

Click to see more photos from this year’s Turkey Fest.

Twinkling lights on hundreds of Christmas trees, the cheery sound of a bell ringing and the mouth-watering smell of grilled turkey. There’s no better way to spend the Saturday before Thanksgiving than at Turkey Fest.

This year marks the 13th year for the event, held at Sullivan Hardware and Garden at 6955 N. Keystone Avenue on Indianapolis’ north side. The store is decked out for the holidays and the Christmas Train zipping around a miniature snowy landscape. A temporary studio has popped up in the center of the greenhouse where 93.1 WIBC is broadcasting live the popular Saturday morning show, Home & Garden with Dick and Pat.

Co-hosts Pat Sullivan, Dick Crum and Denny Smith chatted with Major Turner about the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign and its $3.2 million fundraising goal. The second day of Radiothon will be back at Sullivan Hardware and Garden, where visitors and shoppers can bring donations during the live broadcast. Pat Sullivan and Mel McMahon, the Director of Major Gifts at The Salvation Army Indiana Division, talked persimmon pudding and this year’s record-seeking $250,000 Radiothon goal.

The big attraction, aside from turkey twenty different ways and delicious grilled side dishes, is The Salvation Army’s turkey bowling, which is set up between the trash can turkeys and Conner Prairie’s fire-roasted turkey. Participants are donning a dapper turkey hat and bowling for prizes. Those up to the challenge are then trying their hand at a new turkey toss game.

The Salvation Army canteen is keeping the crowd warm with hot coffee, cocoa and cookies, and Turkey Fest attendees have the opportunity to contribute to our red kettle or sign up to volunteer to ring a bell at kettle locations all around central Indiana. It’s a merry mash-up of Thanksgiving and Christmas and a reminder that we can all enjoy the holidays while helping our neighbors do the same.