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Woman in midst of cross-country move is King Turkey's Day guest of honor

Roxy Gantes reacts to getting the cuffs put on after being arrested by Worthington Police Officer Erick Baumgart as the King Turkey Day Arrest-A-Guest honoree.2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- A roller derby girl moving from North Hampton, Mass., to Orange County, Calif., was arrested Friday afternoon for the annual King Turkey Day Arrest-A-Guest tradition.

Roxy Gantes joked with the Chamber's welcoming committee that she just might put on her skates and skate through today's King Turkey Day Parade. She's been known to do that before, but never in Minnesota.

In fact, this is her first time passing through the Land of 10,000 Lakes. She said she'd been hoping to take the perfect picture as she passed through Minnesota, and now that she'll be spending a couple of days in Worthington, she'll have ample opportunity to get her photo.

Perhaps it will be of her tossing a frozen turkey at a set of bowling pins from Friday night's Fowl Play, traveling through the parade route this afternoon or rockin' out to Hairball tonight on the Nobles County Fairgrounds. The 80's rock band fits right in with Gantes' roller derby name, RoxZ-yer-Whirled.

Gantes was a member of the Pair O Dice City Rollers in western Massachusetts, and once she gets to southern California, she will skate with the OC Roller Girls. She had anticipated arriving at her destination today after being up for "three days straight," but the adventure of King Turkey Day sounded like too much fun to pass up, she said.

The roller girl was nabbed as she walked out of the Blue Line Café shortly after 3 p.m. Friday.

"I told her that she didn't do anything wrong ... but that she is under arrest as a guest for King Turkey Day," said Worthington Police Officer Erick Baumgart, who also happens to be experiencing his first KTD festivities.

Baumgart said it was a slow sell --they began the Arrest-A-Guest process at 10 a.m. Friday -- but Gantes had a free schedule and was willing to stay.

At that point, he read her the rights, "You have the right to stay in a hotel, you have the right to a free meal and you have the right to be in a parade."

"This is my only arrest without any paperwork," Baumgart joked. "I think it's a perfect opportunity for this program to get to know someone who is just randomly here and knows nothing about Worthington and gets to know what King Turkey Day is."

Gantes, traveling with a U-Haul and her two dogs, Pippi and Ollie, accepted buttons for both King Turkey Day and Cuero's Turkey Fest, as well as a bit of advice.

"Just cheer for Paycheck!" encouraged Roxann Polzine who, with her husband Al, will escort Gantes to all of the KTD festivities.

"You're our honored guest for the weekend," added Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Director Darlene Macklin, who went through the list of activities, from turkey bowling to the Great Gobbler Gallup and the Hairball concert.

"It sounds like a blast," said Gantes, who asked if she also got to chase the turkeys down the street.

Gantes said she was "on a trip of a lifetime," and said she had no second thought about staying in town for King Turkey Day.

"Being a guest of honor? Come on, what diva would say no?" she joked.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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