City to welcome Wallenda home with parade


City to welcome Wallenda home with parade


Date: June 25, 2013
by: Observer Staff




The Observer Media Group and the city of Sarasota invite the public to help welcome home the “King of the High Wire” Nik Wallenda at 7 p.m. Friday, July 5, for a Ticker-Tape Homecoming Parade in downtown Sarasota.

The parade will begin at U.S. 301 and Main Street and precede the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix’s Festival Parade of Boats. The parade will end at Gulfstream Avenue. 

The parade will include the Wallenda family, Sailor Circus clowns and the Sarasota Military Academy drumline.

Sarasota Ford has agreed to provide vehicles for the parade, and organizers are working with Wallenda on his availability for autograph signing and public comments. 

Wallenda made history Sunday, June 23, when he walked a 2-inch-wide cable suspended 1,400 feet above the Grand Canyon’s Little Colorado River Gorge.  

An announcement was made on Monday, June 24, that the welcome home parade would take place Sunday, June 30. But, after meeting with city of Sarasota police officials and the city's event staff, parade organizers determined the logistical and governmental obstacles were too great to pull off the type of parade they wanted in time for this Sunday.

As an alternative, they considered holding a rally for Wallenda at Ed Smith Stadium. But that, too, presented its own logistical and governmental challenges.

So, the organizers decided to accept a standing invitation from the organizers of the Suncoast Grand Prix boat parade. The Welcome Home Ticker-Tape Parade for Nik Wallenda will precede the boat parade down Main Street, starting around 7 p.m. Friday, July 5. 

The city encourages individuals to come out for the parade and congratulate Nik Wallenda on his latest feat. Spectators and attendees are encouraged to bring homemade banners and signs for Wallenda. 

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