It’s Not Raining Turkeys…Can A Cash Reward Save The Tradittion?
PETA protest prevent the annual Turkey Drop.
A traditional Arkansas turkey drop was aborted this year following threats from an animal rights group and the Federal Aviation Administration. Fans gathered in downtown Yellville at the 66th annual Turkey Trot festival Saturday as an unknown aviator dubbed The Phantom Pilot circled overhead in his small plane. But no turkeys were dropped and the plane flew away. The traditional turkey dropping was torpedoed this year when PETA ponied up a $5,000 bounty for the arrest and conviction of anyone who dropped a turkey from the sky. The pilot also had the feds on his tail in the form of a threat from an FAA official threatening to pull his license if any one of their team present at the festival witnessed turkeys dropping from the air. It's unclear where the custom of dropping turkeys around Thanksgiving came from, but it may have been inspired by a 1978 episode of the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati." The episode, "Turkeys Away," featured the famous tag line uttered by the radio station owner following a disastrous turkey drop promotion was "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
Another reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the PETA person who started the protest. Where this will end nobody knows. The only given is that Turkeys will not get frequent flyer miles this year.