Wow. I am way behind on blogging. I'll promise I'll get caught up, I've got some crazy stories on my 36-hour trip to Las Vegas and Woda's kickass Sunday Night Bachelor Party, but first let's talk about what just happened -- this past weekend.
The Planet and I had our biggest and busiest weekend, EVER. No seriously, EVER. If you walked outside and had some fun in the tri-state this weekend, chances are, you saw someone or something from the station. It all started Thursday night.
We had two major events going on Thursday night. First, we were the presenting station at Ribfest, and we were there for the best night. This year, we had Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot on stage! Both of those bands were awesome. The crowd was insane -- the amphitheater was as full as it could be! I had the pleasure of bringing all of the bands on stage. That is one of my favorite things to do with my job. I know the crowd doesn't care about me, and they just want me to walk off the stage so the band will start playing, but when you say the band's name, and the crowd is going nuts, it's just an awesome feeling to be apart of! How was the show? Both bands were great. Molly Hatchet is a great live act, but Blackfoot's "Highway Song" was worth the price of admission for me!
In addition to having Ribfest going on Thursday night, it was also the first night of Rally on the River! So, Nate and I were doing dueling broadcasts! I would tell you about ribs and Southern Rock, and he would tell you about bikes and brews! I wasn't at the Rally Thursday night, but it sounded like they had their biggest Thursday ever! Ribfest also had their biggest Thursday night!
The people that really know me, know that I stress out a lot when it comes to station promotions and events. So this weekend, I was pretty stressed. Nate does a great job of telling me to just calm down, and he's usually right! But, Friday, I was pretty stressed, we had day two of Rally on the River, and we had to get Lex and Terry from the airport.
I did my broadcast that afternoon from the Rally. We couldn't have asked for better weather this weekend, maybe a little cooler, but no rain, you can't beat that! Everything at the Rally was running very smooth, which was great. I had to leave a little early to get the Givers.
Lex and Terry, along with Dee, flew in to the Charleston airport that evening around 6:30 p.m. I had never actually met them before, so I won't lie, yeah, I was a little nervous. But as soon as they all got loaded up in the car, I saw that what you hear on the radio every morning is what you get. They are truly great people. I even got to be a part of a little prank on Peter!
Dee had the idea to call Peter, their producer, and say that I hadn't shown up at the airport to pick them up. So he kept going with the story (you know Dee's a great liar if you listen to the show), and said that Terry was really pissed and was trying to book a private plane back to Dallas! Dee said that he tried to call my phone, but it kept going to my voicemail. Then, Peter called me and the guys just told me to let it ring and not answer. Peter called Dee again, just trying to figure things out. You could tell from Dee that Peter was stressing. It was pretty good. Then, Peter called me again, and the guys told me to answer. Lex has been filming the whole thing on his flipcam and said to me, "let's see what you got." I answer the phone kind of calm, Peter says, "Reeves, the guys have been waiting on you for an hour, where are you?" I told him that I was about to pull up to the airport. He asked why I was an hour late, and I just said I thought he meant they were landing at 6:30 Central Time, 7:30 Eastern Time -- it sounded good, he bought it. So then, Peter called Dee again, and told him that he had talked to me and I would be pulling up shortly. I'm cracking up and loving all of this! Terry asks Dee for the phone, and just says, "Peter, sorry, we were just screwing with you!" I couldn't make out what was being said, but Peter wasn't happy at all, it was great!
Once we got to Huntington, the guys checked into their hotel, then we had a great dinner with our station's general manager and sales manager and wives. Then, it was time to call it a night.
The first couple of hours on Saturday really sucked. I didn't do anything except wait! It was going to be a huge evening for the station and I couldn't wait for it! But first, my two best friends were getting married! Yeah, so I snuck a wedding in on this day at 3:30 as well! My wife and daughter were both a part of the wedding and they all looked and were great (wife, daughter, bride, groom, everyone!) My daughter acted up a little during the service. OK, she acted up a lot and I had to take her to the lobby -- that was a little frustrating, but whatever! I saw them say their "I do's" and kiss, I saw the important stuff! As soon as the service was over, I had to jet to get over to Ironton.
Also happening at 3:30 was the Lex and Terry V.I.P. reception at Austyn's. I didn't get their until around 5 p.m., but it sounded like everything was cool. Our sales manager drove the guys over and took care of the show. After the V.I.P. thing was over, it was time for the main events! Lex and Terry were apart of the Parade of Heroes, which was a ride with about 2,000 bikers through Ironton. I didn't get to see it, but it sounded like there were about 30,000 people along Second Street. Once they got back to downtown, they watched the 21 Gun Salute in front of the Planet stage, then the guys took the stage! The crowd was awesome, and the guys thanked everyone for coming out. Then, they wrote their name about 1,000 times each.
While the guys were on the Parade of Heroes, there were maybe about 20 or 30 people lined up to meet them. I was thinking to myself, I hope more people want to meet them! When we were all on stage, yeah, there were more people that wanted to meet them. That line grew from about 20 or 30 to about 1,000! They did not stop signing autographs and taking pictures for two and half hours straight. It was awesome. I had never seen anything like that. If you met the Givers, thank you for coming out!
The Herald-Dispatch put up some great pictures from Saturday night, check 'em out here: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/multimedia/galleries/news/x1886684550/Gallery-Rally-on-the-River-Saturday.
After they were meeting everyone who wanted to meet 'em, they were ready to call it a night. They had a 7 a.m. flight to catch Sunday morning!
The drive back to Huntington was cool. We were all just chatting about the Rally, their appearance, and the tri-state in general. They really loved everything. They thought it was a great bike rally, were pumped so many people came out, and kept talking about how beautiful our tri-state is (it really is). Once back to Huntington, everyone was pretty hungry, so we went to Five Guys in Pullman Square (I'm pretty sure they actually went twice in the same day!). It was cool there, the cashier recognized the guys and got a picture with them. I think it made his night!
After the guys got back to their hotel, I had to catch up with the wedding. Remember that?
Get a refresher about three paragraphs up. The wedding party, including the bride and groom, were at the Union Pub and Grill. I was really glad I got to see Woda and LeeAnn. I had felt bad for missing the reception and all of that stuff, but I felt I hadn't really missed too much because of all of the stories and good times at the bar! Woda got all of his groomsmen tuxedo t-shirts, and even got one for me (that meant a lot to me!). It was a little after midnight, and time to head home, I had to be up at 4:30 a.m. to take Lex, Terry and Dee to the airport!
Whenever I have to be up super early, I can never sleep, and this was definitely the case for Sunday morning. I finally fell asleep at about 2 a.m., only to wake up at 4:30 a.m. Hopefully I didn't stink, because I didn't take a shower. Just threw on some deodorant and brushed my teeth! Even though the three of them get up five days a week before 4 a.m., they were tired as well. They were all dozing in and out on the ride to Charleston. We got to the airport without any incident, and I dropped them all off out front at about 6 a.m. to catch their 7 a.m. flight.
Then, it was time to head back home, and get back to bed! I had to tell my wife to scoot over, where I had left, she managed to takeover the entire bed! Slept for a couple of more hours, then was up once again, and back on my way to Ironton to close out Rally on the River. It was really calm Sunday afternoon at the Rally. Just watched the vendors tear down, saw a great Santana tribute band, then tore our stuff down, and called it a Rally.
It was a kick ass weekend through and through, and we can't wait to do it again next year. Hopefully Ribfest and Rally don't fall on the same weekend, but if they do, it's all good, we can handle it! I'm already pumped for next year's Rally, the Friends of Ironton have some big time things lined up! You'll be impressed.