Legendary tightrope artist to walk the wire at State Fair, “I may stop and take a selfie”

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Back in the day, the Wisconsin State Fair was known for bringing thrill shows. This year will capitalize on that history with tightrope artist Nik Wallenda. Friday, he was at the fair site to scope out the area.

"We walked out this morning to see the site for the first time. You know, I looked out there and I said, 'that's a long walk -- it's going to take a while'," said Wallenda.

In fact, the walk, August 11th during the State Fair at the Milwaukee Mile, will be the longest he's ever done. So far, the longest has been at the Grand Canyon.

"Cause in my family's tradition, untethered. It will be life or death as I make my way across that wire. But I'm thrilled to be here, I'm carrying on a legacy," said Wallenda.

And what a legacy it is.

Back on July 4th, 1974, his great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, amazed fans at County Stadium in Milwaukee as he walked a tightrope 250 feet above the ground right field to left.

The Wallenda's have been doing feats like this for more than 200 years. And Nik is continuing the tradition. He expects the State Fair walk to take between 25 and 30 minutes.

"Depending on the weather conditions, depending on the stability of that wire, I may stop and take a selfie. I may talk with the fans as I'm out there. I may sit down and take a break as well, because that is definitely a long walk," said Wallenda.

Wallenda will walk int he rain if the State Fair okay's it -- hey, he walked over Niagara Falls!

"My mom makes some of my shoes. They're basically an Indian moccasin that molds to my feet with an elk skin bottom. The reason we use elk skin is that it's thin enough to where I can feel the wire through it but it protects my feet and if that wire is wet for some reason it actually grips that wire and becomes sticky instead of slippery," Wallenda said.

But, lightening within 15 miles of the area will kill the show.

"I'm just excited to do this walk in Wisconsin," said Wallenda.

Tickets for Wallenda's walk are on sale now for $15. That includes the performance and fair admission. The show is on Tuesday, August 11th at 7 p.m.

1 Comment

  • wth

    If he doesn’t have a safety rope and a bed of red hot coals underneath with high winds,,I would maybe watch, other than that it’s just a walk in the park..lol.

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