Turkey Fest Moves to Junkanoo


Just in time for Thanksgiving comes an island tradition featuring a part of the turkey we can guarantee grandma never served. Despite Bruce Cermak having sold the Surf Club last year, the Annual Turkey Testicle Festival lives on in a new location – Junkaoos.

Yawp, you say, does that mean people actually eat testicles? Yes, they do – and for the last twelve years the desire for these peculiar tidbits has been so popular that Cermak just couldn’t let it all come to an end.

“I had so many people ask about it, I had to keep it going,” Bruce told us. “So I asked the folks at Junkanoo, and they agreed to let me have it there.”

Besides the location, Cermak told us that the 13th Annual Turkey Testicle Festival will differ little from those previous -the event will be held from 2pm-8pm on Saturday, November 21st, and yes, will still feature the infamous Chicken Bingo.

turkeyFor those unfamiliar with the world of testicle tasting, turkey testicles are actually quite popular -the festivals have been popular for years in the Midwest and Cermak’s hometown of Chicago. One annual event, held in the bustling town of Olean, Missouri (population 157) since 1992, draws thousands of testes tasters from all over the country.

The original festival -held annually in Byron, Illinois since 1978 -serves up thousands of pounds of the teensy tidbits and raises over $30, 000 for local charities every year. Turkeys carry their testicles internally, and some of them get to be pretty good size. Bruce told us that the testicles come from the Butterball turkey farm in Mt. Olive, North Carolina, and they are shipped all over the world, especially to the Orient.

Most people compare the taste to chicken gizzards, but say they ‘fill you up much faster’. Bill Clarke -an aficionado of our local festival – described them a few years back, ‘they’re like a fried mushroom without the flavor’. Others claim that they are an aphrodisiac (giving a whole new meaning to ‘having a ball’).

“People come here from everywhere on the map to indulge in this festival,” Bruce told us. “It has a regular clientele and then attracts newcomers every year.”

So come down Saturday and join the fun! Bruce asks everyone to bring either a non-perishable food item or $5 to donate to Harry Chapin, which supplies our local food bank here on the island along with many others.

So head down to the Junkanoo on Saturday and have a ball!


Keri Hendry Weeg