Zip Trip comes to Wal­dorf

Fox 5 broad­casts from heart of Charles County

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By CHAR­LIE WRIGHT cwright@somd­news.com

Charles County res­i­dents flocked to O’Don­nell Lake in Wal­dorf on Fri­day, pe­rus­ing the booths of lo­cal busi­nesses and fol­low­ing the cam­eras for a chance to be on a Fox 5 morn­ing broad­cast.

WTTG Fox 5 Zip Trip vis­ited the area as part of the sta­tion’s weekly pro­gram high­light­ing the premier places to visit in the Dis­trict of Columbia re­gion. The Good Day DC team of me­te­o­rol­o­gist Tucker Barnes with news an­chors Steve Chen­evey and An­nie Yu ex­pe­ri­enced every­thing Wal­dorf had to of­fer, from cui­sine and bev­er­ages to en­ter­tain­ment and fit­ness.

Zip Trip’s most re­cent ap­pear­ance in Charles County was in La Plata in Au­gust of 2016. That event drew a large crowd, but Fri­day’s turnout ex­ceeded last year’s num­bers and rep­re­sented the big­gest au­di­ence of 2017, said Fox 5 of­fi­cials.

“It just shows we have a great com­mu­nity, we have peo­ple who are ded­i­cated, and when you put out the call they do show up,” said Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers’ Vice Pres­i­dent Amanda Ste­wart (D). “It just gives us an op­por­tu­nity to show­case our county, us­ing Fox 5 as a resource.”

Barnes kicked off the

show by cruis­ing onto the set on a mo­tor­cy­cle and pre­sent­ing the weather with mem­bers of a nearby mo­tor­cy­cle group. Chen­evey and Yu then joined the broad­cast to share “5 Must Stops,” spot­light­ing en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tions in the county in­clud­ing Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium and Cap­i­tal Club­house. The pair de­liv­ered this seg­ment while be­ing ser­e­naded by the Bucket List Band, a four-mem­ber South­ern Mary­land clas­sic and mod­ern rock group.

Ste­wart then squared off against Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land Board of Trustees chair Dorothea Smith in a bat­tle of Charles County trivia knowl­edge. The civic lead­ers per­formed ad­mirably while also tak­ing the time to dis­cuss the im­por­tance of the event, which fea­tured 42 ven­dors and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“This is a chance for folks to see what they can join, what they can do for the county,” Smith said. “You don’t want to just take from the county, you want to give back, and it’s very im­por­tant to make a dif­fer­ence.”

One of the most pop­u­lar at­trac­tions was the Lefty’s Bar­be­cue Un­lim­ited grill, with a long line of hun­gry res­i­dents ea­ger to taste their Smokin’ Chicken and Carolina sauces. Barnes grabbed a bite of the award-win­ning, North Carolina-style bar­be­cue fare with owner Wal­ter “Lefty” Nash Sr., ac­com­pa­nied by his staff. Nash’s daugh­ter LaTanya Hol­land spooned out bowls of sauce to the au­di­ence and even fed the Fox 5 em­ploy­ees.

“We took a whole spread over to the tent, so they should be en­joy­ing them­selves,” Hol­land said. “Hope­fully they have some beds, hope­fully they don’t go fall asleep, get a lit­tle lethar­gic.”

A quar­tet of South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs baseball play­ers joined the set at 9 a.m. to re­hash the 5 Must Stops and share their fa­vorite as­pects of the area with Chen­evey and Yu. Pitch­ers Jesse Beal, David Russo and Cody Heb­ner along with util­ity player Kalaika Ka­hooha­la­hala posed for pic­tures and were in­ter­viewed one by one by Chen­evey, who wisely chose to in­tro­duce them by first names only and avoided at­tempt­ing “Ka­hooha­la­hala.”

For the “Tucker Tries It” seg­ment, Barnes joined Kelly Sothoron and her stu­dents from Elite Gym­nas­tics for a floor ex­er­cise les­son. The show’s res­i­dent stunt­man con­sid­ered at­tempt­ing a cart­wheel but opted for a som­er­sault along­side flip­ping and twirling mem­bers of the gym.

“For it be­ing his first time, it was great,” Sothoron said. “He is more than wel­come to come to the gym.”

Fol­low­ing a com­pe­ti­tion against Chen­evey to don fire­fighter gear with the Wal­dorf Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment, Yu met with Napoli’s Pizze­ria own­ers to dis­cuss their New York­style menu. The an­chor chowed down on one of their gy­ros and en­joyed it so much she snuck a few more bites af­ter cam­eras stopped rolling. Napoli’s staff then dis­trib­uted slices of their pizza to the sign-wield­ing spec­ta­tors be­hind them.

Yu and Chen­evey then spoke with deputies Pfc. Eric Scud­eri and Pfc. Christo­pher Mor­ris of the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice about their coura­geous res­cue of a man from a burn­ing ve­hi­cle in Jan­uary. The Fox 5 team pre­sented the of­fi­cers with an award for their heroic ac­tions dur­ing the “Home­town Heroes” seg­ment. Sher­iff Troy Berry (D) ac­cepted a certificate on be­half of Cpl. Don­ald Ka­hala, the third of­fi­cer in the res­cue who did not at­tend Fri­day’s event.

Blue Dyer Dis­till­ing Co. was the fi­nal busi­ness fea­tured on the show, as Chen­evey and Yu sam­pled rum and whiskey with founder and owner Ryan Vier­heller. The com­pany re­cently won a sil­ver medal at the 2017 Amer­i­can Dis­till­ing In­sti­tute’s an­nual com­pe­ti­tion for their hand-crafted Gold Rum. The Wal­dorf-based group of­fers week­end tours of their fa­cil­i­ties, and Vier­heller ad­dressed a slightly larger au­di­ence as he de­scribed each of­fer­ing to the two an­chors.

“[I] was a lit­tle ner­vous, I’m used to giv­ing tours but the cam­era rep­re­sents an in­fi­nite num­ber of peo­ple,” Vier­heller said. “We’re hum­bled that they in­cluded us, we’re re­ally happy. Steve is go­ing to come take a tour, he loved us.”

The broad­cast closed with the “Home­town Team” por­tion and a toast with Ir­ish-Amer­i­can pub Grille No. 13.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY CHAR­LIE WRIGHT

Above, Fox 5 news an­chors Steve Chen­evey and An­nie Yu dis­cuss “5 Must Stops” in Wal­dorf with help from South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs play­ers dur­ing the live WTTG Fox 5 Zip Trip broad­cast. Be­low, Fox 5 news an­chors Steve Chen­evey and An­nie Yu present deputies Pfc. Eric Scud­eri and Pfc. Christo­pher Mor­ris of the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice with the “Home­town Heroes” award. Sher­iff Troy Berry (left) ac­cepted the certificate on be­half of Cpl. Don­ald Ka­hala.

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