UNIVERSITY PARK -- As Nik Wallenda prepares for his latest feat in Chicago Sunday, the weather is forecast to be at least 20 degrees colder than in Sarasota, where he's spent the last three weeks training at Nathan Benderson Park.
According to weather.com, Sunday's forecast for Chicago is calling for mostly sunny conditions with a high of 51 and a low of 43. But with snow on Friday, the tightrope -- a wire cable -- Wallenda is walking on could become a little slick.
"Because of the conditions there, because it could be wet, we have made a cable where we have actually coated it," Wallenda said. "My dad came up with this coating and it's almost like a sandpaper. That way, my feet actually grip it even better. Normally my feet will grip in wet conditions like Niagara Falls."
At 7 p.m. Sunday, Wallenda's "Skyscraper Live" walk will be televised on the Discovery Channel as he attempts to walk from one of two Marina City Towers buildings in downtown Chicago, then travel more than two city blocks across the Chicago River on an uphill 15-degree angle to the Leo Burnett Building. Then, Wallenda will walk on tightrope -- blindfolded -- to the other Marina City Towers building.
Wallenda, who lives in Manatee County, is part of the renowned acrobat family "The Flying Wallendas," famed for its aerial feats and tightrope walking without a safety net.
"It is going to be cooler for sure, so it is important that I stretch a lot," said Wallenda, who lives in Manatee County. "We all know that we can wear warm clothes. There are downhill skiers and such and they do crazy things with their bodies, and they stay warm all the time."
In conjunction with Wallenda's walk, Visit Sarasota County is hosting a contest on Twitter where the winner will receive a trip for two to Sarasota. The winner will receive two round-trip Orbitz Travel Vouchers, a three-night stay at The Beach Club at Siesta Key, and a $100 American Express Business Gift Card.
To enter the contest, tweet @VisitSarasota using the hashtag #BraveLikeNik by the end of Monday. For more information, go to www.visitsarasota.org/article/win-vacation-to-sarasota-county-hometown-nik-wallenda.
"We know there will be a lot of momentum Sunday evening," Visit Sarasota County spokeswoman Lynn Hobeck Bates said. "It will still be fresh in everyone's mind."
Hobeck Bates said the contest is really targeting people outside the area.
"It is really for people who live outside of Sarasota County to win a vacation trip to Nik's hometown," she said. "It is a fun way for people to learn more about Sarasota County and come down."
Claire Aronson, University Parkway/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.