The Pike where turkeys were released.
Visitors to Long Beach had an interesting time the day before Thanksgiving in 1916. Twelve turkeys were turned loose in pairs at different places along the Pike Amusement Zone. The first turkeys were released on the pier; a little later, two more were set free in front of the bathhouse; other were let loose on the top of the Majestic pavilion, more on the roof of the Looff Hippodrome, and at the Long Beach pool room. Since the birds didn’t have their wings clipped, many of them flew and ran quite a distance, with a crowd of eager pursuers following behind. Whoever caught one got to keep it, though no one was allowed more than one bird. It must have been quite a sight!
If one was not lucky enough to catch a turkey, there was one more chance – the masquerade ball at the Majestic pavilion. No turkeys were released for revelers to catch (though that certainly would have been entertaining, but messy!), instead live turkeys were given as prizes for the best male and female costumes.
Giving away turkeys had been a tradition with Pike people for several years. In the past, however, it had been customary to have a drawing for lucky numbers. But the 1916 Thanksgiving event proved to be more exciting, even the Long Beach Press got in on the fun, publishing partial pictures of advertisers scattered throughout the newspaper, which readers cut out and tried to paste together, guessing the name of the owner, manager or official. In 1916 the lucky winner was Mrs. Lynn Hudson, who assembled the picture of Bert Shepherd from clues in the newspaper.
LB Press 11/27/1916