Forget cats and dogs, it’s raining turkeys

Connor Lindeman, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College radio station, 91.9 “The Cat,” plans to host the annual Turkey Drop outside Niehardt Hall on Nov. 8.

Participants enter with things they don’t want, which are called “turkeys.” Such items include old appliances, old bookshelves, or something specially made for the contest. The participants drop those items off the fire escape at the southwest corner of Neihardt Hall onto a big tarp below that is painted with a bullseye. Judges give awards and trophies to people for different categories, such as Best-Dressed Turkey, Biggest Splat, Sharpshooter, Longest Hang Time and People’s Choice.

The radio station’s adviser, Michael Marek, believes the event has two purposes.

“It is a fun event, mostly outrageous, and it helps people get ready for Thanksgiving,” Marek said. “But for the radio station staff, which are the ones in the radio workshop class, it is also a learning experience in how radio stations stage events and promote themselves.”

Marek never imagined that the event would continue to attract contestants for the next 24 years.

“It was before my time as an advisor but 24 years ago, the advisor and the staff of our radio station were looking for a special event to do in the fall, and this is what they selected,” Marek said.

The “Turkey Drop” is based on a very famous episode of the television series “WKRP in Cincinnati” which was a situation comedy about people who work in a radio station. The episode had people drop real, live turkeys out of a helicopter as a promotional event for the station. The radio station employees soon realized that turkeys can’t fly very well, which turned out to be a very bad thing, and not a good promotion, but in its time it was called one of the best episodes of a situation comedy ever.

“It was very popular in its time, and there are still people who can quote lines of dialogue from that episode, and if you have ever seen it, it would stand out in your memory,” Marek said.

The Cat plans to broadcast the event live, but organizers also encourage people to attend in person.