In honour of the third annual Van Turken Day, the Municipality of North Grenville offered a free Family Skate on Saturday, February 11, 2023 from 6 pm-7:20 pm at the North Grenville Municipal Centre.

In 2020, Council declared the second Saturday in February “Van Turken Day” in honour of a wild turkey that roamed around Kemptville, disrupting traffic at some of its busiest intersections. The turkey became a local celebrity and was named “Van Turken” by an online Facebook poll.

“Van Turken brought the community together in a joyful way, and Van Turken Day is a chance for us to continue to have a little fun in North Grenville in their honour,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford.

“Unfortunately, the weather has not been favourable for the Kemptville Community Skateway this year, so the Municipality will be hosting a free family skate on Saturday at the Municipal arena,” added Mayor Peckford.

“Join us for some goofy fun on the ice. We expect Van Turken will be making an appearance! We welcome any other turkeys or other costumed characters on the ice too,” quipped Deputy Mayor John Barclay.

Van Turken stole the hearts of North Grenville and Canadians when a video went viral of the turkey chasing a municipal staff in the North Grenville Municipal Centre parking lot in February 2020.

Residents took selfies, shared turkey sightings, created memes, mugs, t-shirts, songs and poems – and even a twitter account in honour of Van Turken. There’s even a turkey in the 2022 International Plowing Match Logo.

After a number of attempts, the Ministry of Natural Resources captured Van Turken and released further afield.

The free skate and helmet lending library will also be available during that time. Skating aids, strollers and sleighs may be used during family skate sessions. Individuals under 17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Kids 12 and under must wear a CSA approved helmet.

The North Grenville Fire Service will be accepting donations to the food bank as part of the Chiefs’ Fire Officers Association of Leeds and Grenville Food Drive.

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