Brattleboro to give Al Roker 'a big giant welcome'


BRATTLEBORO — In an attempt to make a Guinness World Record, The Today Show weather anchor Al Roker is traveling the United States.

Starting today, Roker will try to visit all 50 states in a week.

He takes care of the big travel issues first, starting in Honolulu before flying to Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday.

Then the real fun begins. Starting in Spokane, Washington, on Sunday, Roker travels through the Northwest that day. He cheats a little on Monday, visiting the Four Corners, enabling him to cross off Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado at one stop, and gradually makes his way East.

"We're the 48th state," said Kate O'Connor, executive director at Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. "We got a call. They had picked Brattleboro, Vermont. A lot of it had to do with proximity, to make the whole thing work."

With Roker expected to arrive in Brattleboro at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, the chamber is planning a welcoming celebration at Pliny Park at 8:30 p.m. and asking people to spread the word. 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.

When producers called the chamber to ask where Roker could report the weather, O'Connor said, "Oh my God, the Brooks House."

She sent a photograph of the downtown building and told them about the lighting around the windows.

"They said, 'Oh my God, that's really cool. That's perfect,'" said O'Connor, who also received a similar reaction at a monthly merchants meeting. "They were super excited. It has the potential for being really great."

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."

"We want to make it fun and a celebration so people will come down," she said. "Let's see if we can give Al (Roker) the biggest welcome of all the 50 states."

Contact Chris Mays at or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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