Photo Gallery | Al Roker visits Brattleboro
BRATTLEBORO — This wasn't NBC's Al Roker first visit to Brattleboro.
"I've been here. We have a house in upstate New York and we're not too far from here," he said. "It's a beautiful town. We love this place."
Roker was in Brattleboro again as part of "Rokerthon 2," a seven-day trip spanning the 50 states. He would quickly do his broadcast then shuffle onto the next state in hopes of visiting all of America's states within a week with the goal of making another Guinness World Record.
The challenge is a follow-up to last year's version where Roker earned a world record for longest weather forecast but it's also a fundraiser for the charitable organization, Feeding America.
"This one is like that one but everyday," he said, referring to his Guinness World Record for a 34-hour long forecast. "But it's been fun. I met a lot of nice people."
Due to the rain, Roker reported the weather at Pliny Park in downtown Brattleboro rather than in front of the Brooks House as planned. Thursday marked his sixth day on the road.
"We've been waiting for a couple days for him to come," said Steven Dix, of West Brattleboro. "When I heard, we just figured we'd stop by. Actually, a lot of people turned out. I was surprised."
Dix, who was with his girlfriend, said he got a good video of the event. His mother watched The Today Show for years and he recalled seeing people line up to be featured on it for years.
"I never thought we wouldn't have to go all the way to New York City and just have him in our own hometown," Dix said. "It's pretty nice."
Nicole Simmons was with her boyfriend promoting his family's Taste of Thai food truck business with signs. But they also wanted to say hello to Roker.
"Because we love The Today Show," said Simmons. "Plus it's really fun and exciting."
Simmons said they were waiting since 8:30 p.m. That's when the celebration was planned to begin. The time of Roker's arrival kept getting pushed back until he finally showed up around 10:45 p.m.
Other signs held up for national exposure included familiar names such as Landmark College, Southern Vermont Dance Festival and the Vermont African American Heritage Trail. And then of course, there were the supporters of presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"We want Al!" chanted the crowd.
Earlier Thursday, Roker was in Boston, Mass.
"It's been a fun day so far aboard Amtrak Northeast Regional," he tweeted around 4 p.m. Thursday. He was in Maine before getting to Brattleboro.
As of Thursday morning, Roker reported traveling 16,581 miles using 12 modes of transportation including planes, cars, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a boat, a horse, a golf cart, a party bus, a military carriage, a fire truck and an RV. He said he spotted 24 goats while crossing time zones 10 times.
After saying he had not seen any goats in Vermont, Roker was given "a goat in a box" meaning goat milk chocolate made at the Townshend-based Big Picture Farm.
"These are very good," he said. "My local cheese shop in upstate New York sells them."
On Friday, Roker was expected in Stamford, Conn., then back home to New York City.