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How does the 4 p.m. State Fair show come together each day?

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — For seven days every year, WCCO has the privilege of joining everyone at the Great Minnesota Get-Together for a special 4 p.m. live broadcast. It’s a unique undertaking that takes weeks of preparation.

So how does it come together each day? Good Question. Take a look behind-the-scenes at the hectic daily adventure.

Tracy Perlman is the executive producer for the 4 p.m. show, working inside our booth turned newsroom-control room-edit studio.

“I start prepping for the 4 about two weeks before the fair,” Perlman said. “Who is the 4-H guest? What animal is coming? Do I have a food guest?”

The selection of stories, who is assigned to them, and when they air are all carefully laid out. For instance, Tuesday was Military Appreciation Day. A veteran himself, Reg Chapman was happy to meet another who was gifted a brand new car.

Meanwhile, Jonah Kaplan weaved through the crowd on the hunt for tasty video and energetic interviews.

“I embrace it. I mean we want to be part of the community, because we’re working for the community, right? So if we have to interrupt something we’ll just do it again,” Kaplan said.

Things naturally get crazier the closer to 4 p.m. the clock reaches. The anchors arrive, the reporters and photographers start writing and editing, and the production team begins coordinating the show’s look.

Director Dave Hillestad leads a team of people running the audio and cameras, a big change from the automated system back at the main studio.

“It’s constant TV. Maybe guests aren’t showing up at the right time, so we’re in flux where this is moving here, this is moving there,” Hillestad said.

Filling our stands turns our show into its own “great Minnesota get-together.”

“A live audience is great. You get instant feedback on how much fun we’re having. And when we’re having fun, we know that our viewers are having fun,” Perlman said. “We just hope the audience shows up and they like it.”

Source: CBS Minnesota

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