Funnel Cake, Corn Dogs and Giant Hogs: My Trip to the State Fair


This week’s reporting for my weekly Station to Station story was a bit more fun than usual. Out Monday, the article is about stations setting up shop at state fairs, and broadcasting live amidst the carnival rides, farm animals and, yes, funnel cake.

Station managers say the fair is a great way to let viewers mingle with talent, to add a bit of festivity to the newscasts, and to chat up community members and see which news stories the station may be missing.

“How can we not be some place where there’s more than a million people?” WSHM Springfield (Mass.) News Director/anchor Doug Lezette told me.

For a coastal denizen such as me, whose fair experience is limited to small-time Fireman’s Fair wingdings out on Long Island, it was an enriching look at how the rest of the country spends its late summers.

And I had not undertaken this assignment, I may never have unearthed the clip of KCCI Des Moines meteorologist Kurtis Gertz contending with a ginormous Burmese python that lodged itself in the weatherman’s shorts.