EARLY — A festive crowd of residents, business owners and city officials welcomed Abilene’s KTAB-TV to the grounds outside the city’s still-new Visitors and Events Center Monday for a KTAB on the Road segment.

It was an afternoon and evening of music, food, vendors and games — and lots of smiles — as people gathered around KTAB personalities who broadcast live as part of the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts. 

Mayor David Mangrum, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Denise Hudson and Police Chief David Mercer were interviewed live by members of the KTAB crew that included Bob Bartlett, Stacie Lopez, Sam Nichols, Nathan Greve, Claire Kreuz and Victor Sotelo.

The broadcast also featured interviews with local business owners.

When they weren’t busy with a live broadcast, the KTAB anchors and reporters mingled with the crowd. Nichols, the station’s chief meteorologist, was flanked by youth and children as he began the broadcasts with his familiar declaration that the news “starts now.”

KTAB is broadcasting other On the Road segments this week from Anson, Cicso , Albany and Sweetwater.