Les Nessman "turkey" drop planned for early Thursday

DANVILLE — The Danville Balloon Group plans to fly more than a dozen hot air balloons this morning in its 14th Annual "Les Nessman" Memorial Turkey Drop just west of Danville.

If morning wind speeds stay low, then Danville-area residents should awake to see hot air balloons filling the sky west of the city.

The turkey drop, scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m., is a tribute to an episode of the television show "WKRP in Cincinnati" in which news director Les Nessman gives a radio play-by-play of turkeys being dropped "like sacks of concrete" onto a parking lot in a radio promotion.

Event organizers said the flying portion is subject to good weather, specifically winds less than 10 miles per hour, good visibility and no precipitation.

Hot-air balloon pilots will gather at the Carlton Farm on Old Ottawa Road west of Danville where they will receive a weather briefing, and a target will be selected. Balloon pilots will launch from a safe spot and navigate to the target, dropping their "turkey" onto a large "x" on the ground. The turkeys will actually be rubber chickens. Organizers are expecting more than a dozen hot air balloons to participate in the event.

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Are you kidding wrote on November 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

In the last scene of the episode, WKRP station manager Arthur Carlson says "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!". One of the funniest moments in TV history.