Break out your poster board and markers and your biggest “Welcome to Raleigh” smiles because Al Roker is hitting the Oak City.
NBC will broadcast segments of its morning show “Today” from downtown Raleigh on Friday to showcase the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass festival, as well as North Carolina food and culture.
Roker is the longtime “Today” weatherman and co-host. The show will be hosted in-studio in New York by Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.
According to WRAL, the local NBC affiliate, Roker will also make several appearances on WRAL’s “Morning News” show in the 6-7 a.m. hour, along with that station’s morning meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.
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Once the nationally broadcast “Today” starts at 7 a.m., Roker will be featured in segments from downtown Raleigh in every hour through 10 a.m. Musicians Jerry Douglas and Earls of Leicester are scheduled to be with him at 8 a.m.
At 9 a.m., the in-studio hosts of “Today” switch to Billy Bush and Tamron Hall. At 9:30 a.m., Rocker will learn to play the banjo. And at 9:40 a.m., it’s the requisite “Today” cooking segment, this time with Matthew Register of Southern Smoke Barbecue of Garland. (Full proud-relative disclosure: Matt is my cousin and Garland – population 625 – is my hometown, so woooooot!) Register plans to prepare pork belly and sweet potato hash on air. (No pressure, cuz.)
“Today” and WRAL want people to come down and show their civic pride, which means lots of homemade signs and cheering. The show will broadcast on Fayetteville Street at the Capitol Stage. (The one closest to the Capitol building.)