(July 21, 2006)—As many as 400 area residents got up before dawn Friday to join the crowd in downtown Waco as CBS Early Show weatherman Dave Price hosted what he promised would be a big street party in downtown Waco as the Great American Vacation tour made a long-awaited stop in Central Texas.
Price and his crew rolled in from their last stop in Austin Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday morning’s national broadcast, during which, he surprised residents Ronnie and Sandie Paris with a Caribbean cruise.
“Is there anyone here, you know, who maybe is just retired?” Price asked as he moved into the crowd gathered at the Waco Suspension Bridge, “Anyone celebrating an anniversary maybe 30 years or so? Anyone whose daughter Anniesa wrote a letter saying her parents work too hard?”
The couple’s daughter, Anniesa, entered her parents in the national giveaway contest.
“My parents, they’ve done everything for me and my sister,” she said.
“They are the most unselfish, giving, loving parents that there probably have ever been.
“They’ve done nothing, but devote their whole lives to me and my sister for the past 29 years.”
Waco is one of sixteen cities on Price’s coast-to-coast vacation giveaway tour.
The broadcast gave the city a chance for national exposure outside of the context of a presidential visit.
It was probably the first time the Suspension Bridge has been in the national spotlight since then-candidates Clinton and Gore made a stop there for a rally during a bus tour of the state after the Democratic National Convention in 1992.
A Baylor bear with a burrito, a Texas Ranger and an enthusiastic spokeswoman for the Dr Pepper Museum were among those featured during the broadcast, which aired live on the East Coast at 6 a.m. and by tape delay in the Central Time Zone, which meant at least some of those who gathered downtown were able to watch themselves later on KWTX.