World famous Wallenda, 76, skywalks in Auburn
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist
AUBURN, MI (WNEM) - The Auburn Corn Fest has a full slate of events this weekend, but there's one special act that you have to see to believe.
In fact, it'll likely put you on the edge, and you will have a shot to see it at this weekend's festival, starting at 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.
Carla Wallenda is 76 years old and she has been performing daredevil acts for 73 years. She's in Auburn this weekend putting on nightly shows and showing her acrobatic tricks from the top of a 110-foot sway pole.
"I love it and I'm working in all the small towns," said Carla Wallenda.
She climbs to the top of the pole, with no safety harness, and does flips, headstands and even stands straight up as the pole sways. People on the ground say watching Carla Wallenda do these ridiculous tricks gives them butterflies.
"She's not scared of heights, and that's one thing I'm afraid of, I admire her, I really do," said Rickie LeBeau.
You may recognize the Wallenda name. Her father is Karl Wallenda, who walked across a tight rope spanning the World Trade Center buildings and was the originator of the "Flying Wallendas."
"I think I learned it before I even was born," laughed Carla Wallenda.
Her nephew is Nik Wallenda, the man who recently crossed the Niagara Falls by tight rope on national television. She said she is just a part of a long, long family tradition and she's nowhere close to retiring.
"I'm only 76 really, at least another 24 years," said Carla Wallenda with a big smile.