A more whimsical Wallenda stunt
STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER
Nik Wallenda takes time for photographs and autographs after walking on a chalked "high-wire," at the Sarasota Chalk Festival on Thursday. Spectators were allowed to try the wire after Wallenda.
By Billy Cox
November 1, 2012
SARASOTA - Guinness record-holding aerialist Nik Wallenda took a break from his white-knuckle legacy Thursday afternoon and injected some levity into the Sarasota Chalk Festival.
“Will I make it?” asked Wallenda as he pretended to stumble across a tight-rope painted into a circus scene on Pineapple Avenue.
The crowd cheered as the 33-year-old performance artist completed the stunt — “and without a net!” shouted a spectator, alluding to an ABC network contract that forced Wallenda to wear a safety harness during his Niagara Falls wirewalk last June.
“It wasn't quite as windy and it wasn't quite as wet,” quipped Wallenda, who will return to ChalkFest Sunday afternoon about 2:30. That's when he and wife Erendira will team up for a more challenging swaypole act.
This year's ChalkFest theme is “Circus City USA,” which gave Wallenda an opportunity to promote his Jan. 25-Feb. 15 appearance at Circus Sarasota. He also plans to wirewalk the Grand Canyon in June 2013.
Pineapple Avenue has been blossoming into vivid color all week as international pavement artists tuned up for the festival's big weekend.
Bryan Moon, at 84 the oldest artist on the street, took a break from his first-ever attempt at pavement art during Wallenda's appearance Thursday.
“It's the size of this thing that blows your mind,” Moon said in his native British accent. “It's a lot of fun, but it's very much hard work. It's grueling.”
Retired to Sarasota, Moon has made news headlines for his MIA Hunters missions, which involve traveling to remote locales to find the remains of Allied aircraft shot down during World War II.