White House pardons Thanksgiving turkey. What does Louisiana pardon?

NEW ORLEANS -  It's a tradition this time of year for the White House to pardon a Thanksgiving turkey.

The turkey gets to go to a farm and live out the rest of his or her days, free at last.

No chance of becoming center stage at somebody's dinner surrounded by stuffing and cranberry sauce.

The tradition for American Presidents to pardon Thanksgiving turkeys goes all the way back, so some stories go,  to 1863 and President Lincoln.

The state of Louisiana had to figure out a way to do something along those lines.


WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood says, it makes sense to do it with the state's favorite, crawfish.

To kick off the most recent crawfish season, Louisiana decided to make it official and officially pardon a crawfish.

It's not just good for the crawfish who gets to roam about the state freely.

It's good for the record books.

And it's good for the history books.

It's the first-ever pardoning of the crawfish.

It takes a man with a big heart to make this happen.  It takes a man with a big appetite.

That man is Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

With the help of the folks from Zatarain's, the Lt. Governor is pardoning a crawfish, to be set free, to never be served up in a bowl of etouffee or deep-fried inside somebody's po-boy.

Like the turkey who's pardoned at the White House just before Thanksgiving, this lucky fellow has a new lease on life.

And it's a tradition that will be celebrated in Louisiana every year.