Dallas’ Turkey Trot race may not take runners through East Dallas anymore but there’s more to be nostalgic about than the old White Rock Lake route. Most runners probably won’t be thinking about where the Turkey Trot race name first started when they take to the course on Nov. 24 but it’s an interesting piece of Dallas history. And no, it has nothing to do with making a turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
In the early 1900’s if you said you were going to do the turkey trot it meant you were going to kick your heels up in a fast-paced dance set to ragtime music, like Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag. In 2012 the Advocate looked back on the history of this dance and found at one time newspapers had even reported turkey-trotting dancers were fined for disorderly conduct.
In 1913, Waco even banned the dance at the Central Labor Ball reporting “no new-fangled dances will be tolerated” including the tango, bunny hug and turkey trot. Thankfully, runners won’t have to worry about getting in trouble if they do decide to break out a few moves on the racecourse. Well, maybe.
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