Al Roker is the weatherman from the NBC Today Show. Last year he set a world record by broadcasting for 34 hours straight. He called it “Rokerthon.” This year he decided on a new challenge: Set a record for fastest time to do live weather reports from all 50 states. His goal: Do all 50 states in just 7 days!
He chose COLDWATER for his Michigan stop! Here’s a photo of his live weather broadcast on Tuesday, November 10th:
This was a great opportunity for Coldwater to be featured on state and national TV. The Chamber of Commerce took a poll prior to Roker’s visit, and Tibbit’s Opera House was overwhelmingly chosen as the site to best represent Coldwater.
There was a bit of confusion on the day of Roker’s arrival, and even when he was here it was really difficult to tell what was going on, so here’s a complete rundown.
He was originally scheduled to arrive between 1pm and 1:30pm. A small crowd showed up.
Around 1:15pm someone came out with a megaphone explaining that he hadn’t even arrived in Goshen, Indiana, yet, his prior stop. So it would be at least another hour. WTVB (radio A.M. 1590) seemed do to the best job of announcing updates on when Al Roker would arrive to an anxious Coldwater. Eventually it was decided he would arrive around 5pm.
Here’s the crowd around 5pm:
A black van turned into the street…
Around 5:15pm Al Roker emerged, waved to the crowds, and walked to the top of the Tibbits Opera House steps. Most people couldn’t hear him, so here’s what went on. First he took some selfies for his Twitter feed.
Next, he talked on a phone for a few minutes.
Next, he gave a brief interview for WOOD-TV (Channel 8). This was not live but was taped for airing about 45 minutes later during the 6 o’clock news.
Next, he went inside Tibbits Opera House for a quick, personal tour.
We all waited outside.
Next, he came back out to the crowd, and he told everyone to put their cell phones in “Airplane Mode” so there would be enough bandwidth for a live broadcast.
Next, he finally did the live broadcast he needed to count for the world record. Note that these broadcasts are for the record are NOT part of the Today show as that show only airs 7am-11am in the morning, though he was able to broadcast on the Today show for SOME of the reports if he was in the right time window for the Today show. Otherwise, the broadcasts were done with a local NBC affiliate. For Michigan, this was WDIV, channel 4, Detroit.
At the end of the broadcast, he immediately stepped down the stairs, walked back to his van, and hopped in to head to his next stop of Montpelier, Ohio.
Lots of local residents took their own photos and selfies as the events transpired above. Click on a link below (Note: You MAY need to have a registered Facebook account to see some of these):
The next day on the Today show, there was only a brief mention of Coldwater as one of the states Roker visited the previous day.
Remember, Rokerthon 2 is a separate event from the Today show, so the main souvenirs for the national record are 1) Roker’s Twitter photos from his stop, and 2) WDIV’s recording of the live weather broadcast. So Coldwater didn’t get quite the national exposure we expected, but it will still be a special event in our hearts, especially those who were able to deal with the constantly changing arrival time and were able to see Al Roker face to face.