Brattleboro welcomes Al Roker and his 'Rokerthon'


BRATTLEBORO >> If you want to know exactly when NBC's Al Roker will arrive in Brattleboro, you'll need to follow him on Twitter @AlRoker.

In an attempt to make a Guinness World Record — visiting all 50 states in seven days — the Today Show's weatherman is traveling the United States.

"Rokerthon 2" is a follow up to last year's version, when Roker earned a Guinness World Record title for the longest weather forecast ever — 34 hours straight.

"We are not going to have a lot of time in each state. We do our broadcast then either get in the bus, car or on the plane, covered wagon, whatever we got," Roker told the New York Daily News.

The challenge is a fundraiser for the organization, Feeding America.

Roker began his adventure on Nov. 6 and is scheduled to arrive in Brattleboro tonight, Nov. 12, at 9 p.m. Whether he actually makes it at 9 p.m. is another question. According to his Twitter feed, on Wednesday afternoon, he was in Mississippi.

Vermont will be his 48th state in six days. While in Brattleboro, Roker will broadcast from in front of the Brooks House.

The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce is planning a welcoming celebration at Pliny Park at 8:30 p.m. and is asking people to spread the word.

"They are still saying 9 p.m.," said Kate O'Connor, executive director of the chamber. "But every step along the way something unexpected has happened, such as a flat tire yesterday."

Nonetheless, she said, she is hoping a big crowd starts to gather at 8:30 with banners, signs and lots of rowdy spirit. "If everything goes right, he we will be on time."

Two downtown businesses — Duo and The Works Cafe — will be open for spectators and the NBC affiliate from Burlington will be doing live weathercasts from Brattlboro at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m., she said. In addition, 5th-grade students from Dummerston will be presenting a weather forecast on WPTZ.

The chamber encourages local Twitter users to employ hash tags such as #Brattleboro #TodayShowInBrattleboro and #Rokerthon for the event. Handles to follow and tag in posts include @alroker and @todayshow.

Roker will be heading to Stamford, Conn., following his visit to Brattleboro. Then he'll head back to NBC Studios in New York City to appear on The Today Show on Nov. 13.

The Today Show at New York's Rockefeller Center features fans waving hands and signs, and flashing smiles, and O'Connor is urging people to recreate that here. She wants to offer Roker a "big giant welcome."

"Let's see if we can give Al (Roker) the biggest welcome of all the 50 states."

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160.


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