In 1976, during the inaugural Twins Day Festival, a peculiar sight was observed: the only skydiving clown in the world, Thunder Chicken, hurled through the afternoon sky, safely landing on Twinsburg soil to the delight of all who were lucky enough to glimpse it. The man behind the greasepaint and guise of Thunder Chicken is Dallas Wittgenfeld, who improbably came up with the idea of a skydiving clown while serving in the army during the Vietnam War in 1969.
Wittgenfeld figured that Vietnamese orphans would never get the thrill of seeing an American clown, so he donned some makeup and deployed from an airplane high above the cheering throng. After the war he continued to delight children and adults alike with his skydiving chicanery at fairs, air shows and shopping center openings. His one-of-a-kind career was almost cut short in May of 1985 due to an arrest at Deland Municipal Airport (located in Central Florida) for flying while intoxicated.