Friday, November 4, 2011

1940 Turkey Festival

In late August 1940 news cameramen from M-G-M News of the Day, Paramount, Fox Movietone, and Universal descended on Harrisonburg to film footage for news reels to be shown in theaters. The purpose of the footage was to publicize the 1940 Turkey Festival which was scheduled to be held on October 10th and 11th. The film would eventually be shown in local theaters as well as theaters across the United States and overseas.

The cameramen were invited here by Robert F. Nelson, public relations counsel for the State Chamber of Commerce.
Upon their arrival the cameramen headed to the farm of P.A. (Dick) Carver where they were joined by a flock of 2,000 turkeys and more than 60 attractive Harrisonburg and Rockingham County girls. The girls were filmed driving the flock of turkeys and engaging in a “battle royal” pillow fight.
You can view 35 seconds of the newsreel footage on the Critical Past website by clicking one of the screen shots.

You can read more about the 1940 Turkey Festival on the Daily News-Record microfilm housed at Massanutten Regional Library.

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