I’m going to say it: It was freakin’ hot. I think the entire country sizzled a week ago Saturday, the day of the Turkey Palooza. South Carolina was no exception, reaching a near record temp of 106 F.
Yep, I really had to go in the dunking booth, which actually felt pretty good on that hotter-than-the-Devil’s-house day. You’re witnessing the split-second before my first dunk.
But we had fun — and that’s not just something I repeated to convince myself it’s true. The Turkey Palooza proved to be a good time, and I could see it in the sweat-speckled faces of everyone there.
An estimated 2,500 folks came to the Wild Turkey Center for food, games, music and — the big daddy attraction — fireworks. Was the NWTF ready for them? I could say no sweat, but with the Easy Bake Oven heat, that would be a lie.
It took a lot of hard work and 140 volunteers to pull off what quickly became more like a festival. Remember, these are some of the same folks who put on a convention and sport show for more than 35,000 every year. We know how to host a first-rate event, if I say so myself.
Here are some images to prove it. Just click on the first one to take you through a slide show. If you’re a Keepin’ Up With Karen subscriber (thank you!) and reading this off the email that was automatically sent to you, then click on the blog web link to view the slideshow.
Here are two of the angels sent from Marble Slab Creamery who dished up coolness in several yummy flavors.
It’s all fun and games until the photographer loses an eye. There were several activities that put the fun in fundraising at the Turkey Palooza, like the popular Chufa Chunk.
Alex Rutledge was there in spirit (and cardboard) inviting folks to the Edgefield (S.C.) Chapter’s Hunting Heritage Banquet. He’s scheduled to be there this November. In the meantime, his mug served as a backdrop to one of several online contests during the Palooza.
I’m a Chevy girl, so it was cool to see the new models of cars and trucks on display, thanks to the Chevy Street Team. I may be rockin’ a Traverse down the road, but I have the spirit of a Corvette (and the speeding tickets to prove it).
NWTF Chief Conservation Officer James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., is probably making mental notes as he plunges into the dunk tank. Those are two of his employees playing dirty pool (pun definitely intended).
Highway 104, a band out of Evans, Ga., rocked the stage at Turkey Palooza, pumping out hits from the likes of Tom Petty and Skynyrd.
That’s me and Mac McQuown, the Walking Marine. He's walking the capitol steps of all 50 states (that’s more than 15,000 miles) to support wounded, fallen and homeless veterans. Mac just happened to be in town. Keep up with him at www.facebook.com/MACMCQUOWNWALKING.
More than 500 people wandered through the NWTF’s Winchester Museum that Saturday. They may have been trying to escape the heat, but I’m pretty sure they left with a better understanding of our mission.
It’s a slide jam! Kids of all ages plunged down an inflatable water slide, as their parents looked on with a tinge of jealousy.
Local groups raised money and awareness of causes through demonstrations and by volunteering, including the Wardlaw Academy Shooting Team, First Tee of Aiken and Edgefield Area Clay Guild.
What fireworks show is complete without glow-in-the-dark accessories? Turkey Shoppe was on hand to sell toddler-tantrum-inducing trinkets, Turkey Palooza t-shirts and other NWTF merchandise.
BOOM! Pop…pop…pop, pop, pop, pop. The fireworks were the grand finale to a great day. My 3-year-old described them as “Whoa!”
I’ve had a blast promoting this Saturday’s Turkey Palooza, acting like the self-proclaimed spokesperson of the event.
I was totally geeked to be in a radio station. Don’t laugh at my cheat sheet for the interview. There’s a heckuva lot going on at the Turkey Palooza.
I started my week doing a live radio show with one of the event’s media sponsors — WKSX (92.7 FM out of Johnston, S.C.). It was just a 5-minute deal but I guess it served its purpose. I know of at least one person who heard the broadcast. But, you know, if I touched the life of at least one person…
The cool part of being in the radio station was I got to see all the DJ equipment and stuff, including programming software that’s like iTunes on steroids. I was in heaven.
All week I’ve posted on my blog and Facebook, prepping everyone for Palooza fun. It’s been cool working with my friend and NWTF web content editor Melanie Swearingen on giveaways and promotions. We’ve finagled dozens of prizes from Bloodline’s Alex Rutledge to our local Pizza Hut and everywhere in between, and we’re giving them away to Turkey Palooza patrons and online. Yep, even if you live 1,000 miles away you can still win. I explained all that in my last blog post, so scroll down and give it a look-see.
President Obama obviously didn’t realize there’s a Turkey Palooza going on this weekend. He just had to boot me off my live TV debut with some healthcare announcement. Whatevs!
And this morning I wore my NWTF logo shirt and even rolled my hair to appear on the Channel 6 newscast at noon. WJBF is another media sponsor of the Turkey Palooza. Well, the live show was pre-empted by President Obama talking about healthcare and all, so I got the boot. Apparently, he wasn’t aware of the big event this Saturday.
No worries, NWTF PR Director Brent Lawrence is taking my place on the show tomorrow, so tune in at noon if you can.
Melanie and I, in turn, got a tour of the TV station (my first time in one since a sixth-grade field trip) and snuck to P.F. Chang’s for lunch. All was not lost.
But I’ll be back on my Palooza promotion gig on Saturday, doing live remote broadcasts with WKSX and posting stuff to my Facebook page. If you haven’t friended me yet, go ahead and come over to the dark side. There could be prizes waiting for you.
I just found out I was volunteered to be in the dunking booth on Saturday as well. Ah, the glamorous life of a spokesperson…
One of the fun promo pieces Melanie put together for my live remotes with WKSX
The NWTF is getting a little bit of an early start on July 4 fun with its first-ever Turkey Palooza this weekend. The NWTF campus will be buzzing with activity on Saturday — games, food, live music, auctions, culminating in a big honkin’ fireworks show. All the ingredients for an Independence Day-type festival, but we’re getting our turkey on instead!
So what’s a palooza anyway? I had to look it up myself.
Apparently, “palooza” is a term that came to be after I graduated high school in 1995. It’s nowhere to be found in the dictionary I received as a graduation gift — the days before you could Google everything.
I keep that dictionary in my desk drawer, because I still believe Mr. Webster over what I find online.
Palooza was not where it should’ve been in the “P-Q-R” section, after palooka (an inexperienced boxer), so I defaulted to Wikitonary.com. It says a palooza is an exaggerated event. That tells me absolutely nothing.
So I’m going to say a palooza is a big celebration, which is what I think is the intention of the events on Saturday. Add “turkey” before it, and it becomes a big NWTF party.
The Turkey Palooza began as a thank you to the Edgefield, S.C., community. The NWTF has called Edgefield home since 1973, employing folks from all over the Central Savannah River Area for nearly four decades. We love it here and want our neighbors to know it.
We also want them to get to know who we are and what we do for North America’s wildlife and hunting traditions. I’m not joking when I tell the story of a woman working in the McDonald’s drive-through no more than a mile or so up the road from NWTF headquarters. She actually asked me where we keep all the turkeys. Sigh…
Well, Saturday will be a chance for her to get the full NWTF scoop. Turkey Palooza participants can tour our Winchester Museum for free, typically a perk reserved for NWTF members.
Another bonus for NWTF members is an exclusive VIP area with its own games and made-in-the-shade seating area.
But anyone and everyone can enjoy the fun.
If you live within driving distance of Edgefield, you should totally join us. I’ll be there broadcasting live with WKSX (92.7 FM out of Johnston), giving away prizes, jawing about the day’s activities and trying to convince the show host to let me play some Def Leppard.
If you don’t live nearby, you can still get your palooza on too. Stay in touch here at Keepin’ Up With Karen and on my Facebook page for ways you can win prizes — even if you live in Idaho!
Oh, and click on the video above to get the skinny on what’s happening at the Turkey Palooza. (And make note of that sweet voice convincing you to stop by. It’s me!)