WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has spent part of his 81st birthday observing the White House tradition of pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys.

Gobblers Liberty and Bell received executive clemency Monday at a White House ceremony.

Biden mentioned his age and joked that he wasn’t at the first of these events held 76 yeas ago.

The 20-week-old, 42-pound birds were hatched and bred in Willmar, Minnesota, by the Jennie-O turkey company for the occasion.

The turkey pardon ceremony marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Washington.

Also Monday, Jill Biden welcomes delivery of a Fraser fir from North Carolina as the official White House Christmas tree.