Close to 200 people — but no turkeys — showed up Thanksgiving morning at the 29th annual Turkey Shoot in Richmond.
No birds were harmed at the lighthearted event, which was held on Park Place in downtown Point Richmond at 10 a.m. Nov. 22. However, many shots of Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey were consumed, as usual.The decades-old annual Thanksgiving tradition begins with a parade that assembles outside the Richmond Plunge, the town’s 89-year-old public swimming pool.
Accompanied by a ukulele group that plays weekly in Point Richmond, this year’s crowd paraded through the historic commercial district, then assembled for the reading of a poem that grows by a stanza each year.
At the conclusion of the poem, celebrants downed a shot of Wild Turkey or, in some cases, sparkling cider.
“It’s a lesson in delayed gratification because you have to wait for 29 stanzas before you can take your shot,” said Karen Buchanan, who has been participating in the event ever since she moved from Sausalito to Richmond three years ago.
“The first time, I was unclear on the concept of holding the drinks intact until the final stanza. I gulped my drink down, and then everybody was saying, ‘No, you are supposed to wait. So I had to go get a second drink,” Buchanan said.
As usual, the event was a dog-fest, with easily 25 dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors frolicking along with the parade-goers.
The nature of the dog population pointed up the quintessentially local nature of the event. About seven now-grown-up puppies from a litter of eight whelped by Richmond Mayor Tom Butt’s yellow Labrador, Rosie, were on hand, having been adopted by local residents a year ago.
Participants had the option of purchasing commemorative shot glasses that depicted, naturally, a ukulele-playing turkey. Richmond cartoonist Vince Stephens did the illustration.
A shot glass of Wild Turkey was $8, while the glass alone was $5. The money collected will help pay for the Point Richmond Music free summer concert series, outdoor concerts held downtown from June through September.
The mayor showed up with three dogs and, as is his personal tradition, one of the herd of goats that keep the brush down in the Point Richmond hills where he lives with his wife, Shirley.
“We had a good crowd. Everybody had a great time,” Butt said of the event.
Story originally published by Bay City News.