Washington (CNN) - A big bird from the east is heading west, thanks to a second chance at life here in the nation's capitol.
In a holiday tradition, President Barack Obama Wednesday will officially pardon a turkey at the White House, saving it from ending up as Thanksgiving dinner.
The president will pardon a turkey from North Carolina named Courage. The North Carolina governor's office Web site says that after Courage is pardoned, he'll fly west and participate in the 121st annual Rose parade on New Years Day. The Web site adds that if Courage is unable to perform his duties at the White House, an alternate turkey named Carolina will be on hand as an understudy.
The turkey and poultry industry have given a turkey to the White House each year since the presidency of Harry Truman, but the tradition of officially pardoning a turkey didn't begin until George H.W. Bush took office in 1989.