LEAWOOD, Kan. — With Thanksgiving four days away, preparations are underway for one of the biggest meals of the season, especially making plans for the turkey.
It’s just one reason why the line on Sunday at Fritz's Smoked Meats and Superior Sausage Co. in Leawood had a line of people waiting to get a turkey an hour before opening.
"It's like a festival of turkeys," store manager Kurt McDonald said.
This is the busiest time of year for Fritz’s.
"(We) stay busy almost every day throughout the week — lots of turkeys, lots of sliced meats, lots and lots of more turkeys," McDonald said.
People from around the Midwest flock to Fritz’s for a smoke turkey and the line was full of repeat customers as well as some first-timers.
"(A) friend told me about it and said it was the best turkey she ever had, so I had to try it," said Frank Murry, one of the first-timers in line Sunday at Fritz's.
Murry said he wanted a great turkey for his family for this holiday.
"Something about the smoke they use, it's just so juicy and tender,” he said. “I can't wait.”
Workers have been preparing for Thanksgiving week for quite some time, so they were ready for the crowds.
"At that point in time, it's nothing but smoking them out every night — roughly 550 turkeys a night," McDonald said.
When you come pick up your turkey, prepare to wait in a long line. And before you come, make sure you have a ticket.
"The ticket, if you bring it back to us, is what you are supposed to do,” McDonald said. “You get a golden bird.”
The Fritz’s saying is — no ticket, no turkey.
McDonald said if you think you might lose the ticket, take a picture of it on your phone. That ensures you will get the correct turkey.
If you lose it, you may have to wait until the last minute to pick up a smoked bird as Fritz’s has thousands and thousands of turkeys to hand out.
The biggest bird this year weighs around 29 pounds.