Zip Trip comes to Waldorf
Fox 5 broadcasts from heart of Charles County
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.
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.