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Watch those giblets: 'Turkey Testicle Festival' coming this weekend in Crystal River

The owners of an Irish pub in downtown Crystal River want customers to have a ball on Thanksgiving eve.

Or two. Or 10.

They're talking turkey balls.

Yes, as in testicles.

Burkes of Ireland holds its second annual Turkey Testicle Festival on Wednesday with $5 buckets of balls, deep fried to perfection.

"Some people are a little apprehensive about it at first, especially the men. They say, 'I'm not putting no ball in my mouth,' " said co-owner Denise Burke. "But once you start eating them, you really can't stop.''

The bar ordered 100 pounds of Tom's private parts from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. They're all-natural and free range — and particularly abundant this time of year.

The testicles taste like thigh meat, only with a hint of wild gizzard, Burke said. For some bizarre biological reason, they measure up to their human counterparts, but shrink when they hit the grease.

Burke and her partner James Stevens were looking for unique ways to celebrate the night before Thanksgiving when they came across turkey ball parties. More than 4,000 people attend Parkside Pub's festival in Huntley, Ill., now in its 29th year.

Burkes will beef up its festival with live music, cornhole and a turkey trivia contest for free beer. (Serious players will know that turkey testicles hang under the bird's left wing rather than between their legs.)

Sexy Turkey Girl, a.k.a. the Nut Girl, will hawk the testicles in 12-ounce cups. A guy dressed as Turkey King will wave to passersby on the street. The rest of the staff will dress as pilgrims and Native Americans.

Already, the party is shaping up to be bigger than last year's. Customers started asking for an encore as far back as June.

"I've been getting a ton of emails from people asking, 'Is this for real?' " she said. "I tell them, 'Yes, they are real and they are good.' "

Gobble gobble

The Turkey Testicle Festival is Wednesday at Burkes of Ireland, 564 N Citrus Ave., Crystal River. Admission is free; bar opens at 2 p.m. Music by Steve Wright. (352) 795-0956; burkesofireland

Watch those giblets: 'Turkey Testicle Festival' coming this weekend in Crystal River 11/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:07pm]
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