From the Drum Corps World archives.

The 1980 Sky Ryders of Hutchinson, Kan., closed out their 1980 DCI World Championship Prelims performance in grand fashion with the release of homing pigeons and helium balloons at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.

Later that same year a senior corps, the Westshoremen of Harrisburg, Pa, would look to recreate the majestic effect at the Drum Corps Associates Championship. The results, however, were anything but.

Author Jeff Ream described the incident in the 2003 book "A History of Drum and Bugle Corps Vol. 2":

En route to a fifth-place finish at the DCA Finals, the Westshoremen were performing their closer of "The Impossible Dream," which included a color presentation and a huge American flag to be unfurled. Underneath the flag were several drum cases filled with doves to be released.

Only one problem—The birds, after being kept in the dark, refused to fly away and instead had to be chased off the field. Chief Judge Walter Kelly chased several off by firing the timing pistol and members came back to retrieve the straggling birds so the Sunrisers could take the field.