WORTHINGTON — This year’s King Turkey Day theme is “Peace, Love and Turkey Racing,” and the festival has a more-than-appropriate button to match.

The button, featuring eye-popping tye-dye colors emblematic of the late 1960s, is now available at various locations around Worthington. The purchase of King Turkey Day buttons each year helps support the festival — and for some, the items have become prized collectibles.

In the past, the King Turkey Day Board of Directors has coordinated a contest to select a winning button design. This year, the board opted to utilize Worthington’s Brad Behrends for help.

“He has been very involved in designing many buttons and T-shirts in the past,” KTD Board President Doug Tate explained.

“With this year being the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the board felt it would be a fun idea to incorporate that into the theme of this year’s festival,” Tate added. “Our theme is ‘Peace, Love and Turkey Racing,’ and we as a board felt that the theme also represents the relationship between Worthington and Cuero (Texas). There have been many great friendships made between the two communities as a result of the Great Gobbler Gallop.”

Worthington, of course, has been represented in the Great Gobbler Gallop by Paycheck since the annual turkey race showdown began in 1973. Cuero, meanwhile, sends out Ruby Begonia each year in its effort to come away with the Traveling Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph … as opposed to the loser’s Circulating Consolation Cup of Consummate Commiseration.

King Turkey Day activities are slated to begin on Friday, Sept. 13, and the bulk of the activities — including the Paycheck vs. Ruby clash — will take place on the 14th. Tate is excited for what he hopes will be another great community extravaganza.

“King Turkey Day is celebrating its 80th year this year and is the granddaddy of the festivals in Worthington,” Tate said. ”I urge the community to purchase a button to help support the festival. In addition to the button, the purchaser receives a coupon book that has savings from local businesses that will more than make up the $5 cost of the button.”

Tate added that the button is the only way to gain entrance to the Turkey Day mixer, which will take place on Thursday, Sept. 12 at Pioneer Village.

KTD buttons are on sale at the following locations: Adorn 1024, Avalon School of Cosmetology, Brown's Shoe Fit, Carpet Plus, Classy & Sassy Boutique, Cooperative Energy, Crafty Corner, Fareway, First State Bank Southwest, First State Bank Southwest’s Walmart Location, Graham Tire, GreatLIFE, Hy-Vee, Johnson Jewelry, KM Graphics, Main Street Kids, Mark's Auto Repair, Pawn It, Picket Fence on Main, Rolling Hills Bank, Sanford Home Medical Equipment, Sterling Pharmacy, Subway, The Daily Apple, The Stag, Transicion Salon, United Prairie Bank, Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, Worthington Federal Savings Bank, Worthington Hearing Aid and Worthington Area YMCA.