Wallenda To Walk Niagara Falls Tightrope June 15

Sarasota daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk across Niagara Falls on June 15, according to BuffaloNews.com.

Updated May 2 9:42 a.m.

Sarasota's own Nik Wallenda's date with destiny walking a tightrope over the Niagara Falls will be June 15, according to a report from BuffaloNews.com.

The news site was the first to report the date April 26 as international government paperwork was being shuffled through the process to ready for the announcement. The event is being touted as a huge tourism kick-off and draw for the landmark, BuffaloNews reports:

"We've got to make the best of it that we can," said John Percy, president and chief executive of the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. "I think we'll hit the ground running. We have to plan to put Niagara Falls in the best light that we possibly can."

Wallenda confirmed the date and announcement to The Herald-Tribune today:

“We tried to keep it under wraps, but with so many government agencies involved, that's almost impossible to do,” said the Sarasota aerialist from Buffalo, N.Y.

The announcement was expected to be on Good Morning America Wednesday, Buffalo ABC affilate WKBW reports. However, the live shot was called off Tuesday night, WKBW's director of news operations John DiSciullo told The Niagara-Gazette because of contractual concerns:

 “I asked, ‘Why did you guys change this?’ — they cited some contractual concerns,” he said. “That’s as far as they would go.”

DiSciullo said the “Good Morning America” cameras could potentially come to the Falls on a different day to film Wallenda.

DiSciullo also told the paper that a GMA producer is still in town and a press conference was scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Nik Wallenda holds six Guinness World Records including one in 2008 for riding a bike the highest and furthest ever on a high wire. If he completes his walk this summer, Wallenda will become the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls.

, Wallenda said the Niagara Falls event took two years of planning. Approvals were needed from New York state and Ontario provincial governments, having to get laws pass to allow the walk, and approval from the Niagara Parks Commission. 

A deal between New York's Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation stipulates that Wallenda will pay about $150,000 for security, preparations, maintenance plus any cost for a rescue helicopter and any costs from Canada for the event, BuffaloNews.com reports.

Despite all the behind-the-scenes work, it's going to be a natural wonder of the world that will be a distraction, Wallenda told Patch in a prior interview:

"My biggest distraction, which is the most beautiful, natural formation inthe world — is the falls," he said.

This is a big year for Wallenda as the stunt is expected to be aired live on television, and in April, a documetary about the daredevil family, The Show Must Go On, premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival.


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