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King Turkey Day button reflects musical theme

WORTHINGTON -- The King Turkey Day Board of Directors had a variety of drawings to choose from for the 2006 King Turkey Day button, but one design stood out as a classic.

This year's button was created by local artist Jo Gerber, who has dabbled in art all her life and works in several mediums, including pen and ink, colored pencil and watercolor. Gerber had previously drawn a turkey for one of her sons, since he's a turkey hunter.

"But turkeys aren't my No. 1 subject," she said. "I prefer to do children and animals, and I don't consider turkeys one of my favorite animals to draw.

"My artwork has always just been a hobby," Gerber added. "I'm amateur from the word go."

Amateur or not, Gerber's rendering of a realistic turkey in colored pencil impressed the festival committee members, and they only asked her to make a small addition to her design.

"I did like four different designs, and after I gave them to Kari Meyer (2006 King Turkey president), she told me they had decided that music was going to be the theme," Gerber explained. "I took the one that they liked best and put a bar of music on it to tie it in."

The official theme for this year's celebration on Sept. 16 is "Hometown Music Explosion," reflecting the board's desire to incorporate more music into all aspects of the festival. Since the button is such an integral part of the fund-raising effort for King Turkey Day, the board felt it was important that the theme be reflected there, too.

"The button is really one of our main fund-raisers, besides the sponsorships and donations from individuals, businesses and organizations, which we greatly appreciate," Meyer explained.

By today, the King Turkey Day buttons should be available for $4 at the 60-some businesses that sponsor coupons for the accompanying coupon book as well as all the local banks.

"We have some new coupon sponsors this year with some great deals," Meyer noted.

The button will gain its wearer entry to this year's King Turkey Day Mixer, slated to begin at 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at Pioneer Village.

"In keeping with the music element, the mixer will have a '50s theme, and we encourage people to dress the part," Meyer said.

Owners of King Turkey Day buttons may also be eligible for a drawing with a grand prize of a stay at one of several Minnesota casinos. Button numbers will be announced beginning Thursday on local radio stations. If the owner of that numbered button calls in within a certain period of time, his or her name will be entered in the drawing, which will take place on King Turkey Day Eve, Sept. 15.

"We really encourage people to purchase a button and take advantage of these opportunities," Meyer said. "It's also a way for individuals to support King Turkey Day, because all money raised through button sales helps to keep the festival going. It's a small way for local residents to help the effort."

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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