The annual Turkey Bingo fundraiser returns to the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall on Saturday, Nov. 17, with doors opening at 5 p.m. and bingo starting at 6 p.m.
The event was operated for more than 30 years by the Alpha Pi Sorority, which in recent years handed it off to the Solvang Arts and Music Foundation (SAM) and the Solvang School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).
Though Turkey Bingo hasn’t changed much since its inception, there have been some changes — such as no more live turkeys for prizes. And instead of a dime per game, the price is now a flat rate for all 60 games.
“The flat-rate pricing change went better than expected, and we are so thankful to host this community-wide event again this year,” said PTO President Victoria Martinez.
The event was begun in 1913 by the Hejls Minde 23 Chapter of the Danish Society of Dania of California and Nevada. The wives of the Dania men started the Danish Ladies Society, Dannebrog of Dania, and took over the event in 1937. The Alpha Pi sorority then took over in the late 1980s.
There are no more live turkeys, as there were in the days at Dania Hall, which stood on the site of the current Petro’s Cafe in Solvang. But hundreds of people still flock to the event in hopes of winning a frozen bird for Thanksgiving dinner.
First cards will cost $10 for adults and $6 for children 13 and under for all 60 games. Additional cards will cost $5. Extra cards can be purchased throughout the event and can still be swapped for another as players desire, but admission into the event will require the purchase of a first card. Seat-saving will also be strictly prohibited.
SAM and PTO will also hold a raffle throughout the event with prizes focused on food and family fun for the holidays.
Food will be available for purchase, and those attending are once again being asked not to bring alcohol to the family event.