March 21 marked the opening of the annual Walker County Fair and Rodeo. The annual parade started at 7 p.m. and kicked off the event in style with floats traveling from 19th street down Sam Houston Avenue to 11th street.
Sam Houston State University senior Jackie Swan is one of two students that works with local Huntsville radio station KSAM and sister station “The Hits” who actually broadcasted the parade live from outside the county annex. Swan is a Mass Communication major with a focus in broadcast production and a minor in marketing. The parade was her first time ever announcing live for KSAM.
“I’m really excited to do this,” Swan said. “It’s my very first time hosting something live, so I’m a little anxious, but it’s a really good opportunity. I’m honored that KSAM has trusted me with this.”
Prior to the live broadcast, Swan did a lot of research on the Walker County Rodeo to build her knowledge of the time-honored tradition and festivities. Originally from Ohio, Swan was unfamiliar with the parade, so her research helped to give her background information to use while hosting.
“I’ve been trying to do my research on the rodeo history and just kind of learning what it’s all about because I know everybody has a pretty good idea and are fans of it,” Swan said. “I don’t want to be somebody who doesn’t really know what she’s talking about.”
Not only did KSAM host the parade live on the radio, but they were also in the parade. During the parade, Swan and her co-host stood on a trailer watching the floats go by and announcing what they saw.
“The Walker County Fair and Rodeo Parade was my first experience doing a live broadcast on the radio, and I had an absolute blast,” Swan said. “Once we went live, it was a breeze.”