LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Blake Wallenda became a high-wire artist in his late teens after his famous grandmother, Jenny Wallenda, introduced him to the aerial art form.
"As soon as I started walking the wire, I loved it. It's my passion now," he said.
Wallenda, a 27-year-old Palmetto resident and cousin of the Nik Wallenda, famed for walking the high wire over Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, will share some of his passion this weekend at Lakewood Ranch.
He is the featured draw for the Lakewood Ranch 2015 Health and Wellness Expo set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday in the lobby of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
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"I will be doing two short performances, and interacting with students on balancing procedures," Wallenda said Thursday. "It will be a great time."
To the relief of parents, the interaction with children on the high wire will be at ground level.
Wallenda said he keeps busy with high-wire performance and practice, and working several jobs.
"You have to stay active all the time, and be dedicated," he said of his prescription for health and pursuing life on the high wire.
Organizers of the expo, now in its 11th year, say they hope visitors will check the 50 vendors for tips and information on preventive medicine, physical activity, proper nutrition, and taking care of the heart and circulatory system.
Exhibitors will have samples, services and information to share with all visitors.
The theme of the expo is "Balancing a Life of Health and Wellness."
Screenings will be available for dental, hearing, nervous system, flexibility, glucose, mobility and vision.
Visitors will be able to meet doctors and specialists, and tour the breast health center.
The outreach lets seniors know there is a resource covering legal issues, health and fitness, and nutritional needs, said Seniors Club founder Don O'Leary.
Meals on Wheels Plus, which serves meals to the Lakewood Ranch Seniors Clubs, will be represented at the expo. Meals on Wheels Plus serves a meal to the Seniors Club at 11 a.m. Tuesdays at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, he said.
"We want to invite seniors to come in and try a lunch," O'Leary said.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053.
or on Twitter@jajones1.