SARASOTA -- Less than a week after completing his televised Chicago tightrope walk, Nik Wallenda already has his sights set on his next feat: walking more than 100 feet high over the newly renovated and expanded Sarasota Ford dealership at its Dec. 6 grand-opening event.
The "King of the High Wire" will walk an estimated 200 yards from the south end of the dealership, over the renovated facility and finishing in the used-vehicle lot.
Wallenda, a Manatee County resident, is part of the renowned acrobat family, "The Flying Wallendas," famed for aerial feats and tightrope-walking without a safety net.
The event will be at Sarasota Ford, 707 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, from 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Wallenda is expected to walk at
about 5 p.m.
"We kind of wanted to bring our roots back to where Sarasota was founded," said Matt Buchanan, Sarasota Ford operating partner. "Sarasota was rooted with the Ringling Bros. (and Barnum & Bailey Circus). We thought it was kind of cool to bring that back to Sarasota and we thought it would be cool to have him back for that."
Buchanan said he is expecting thousands of people to come watch Wallenda walk on the high rope and that the dealership already has received calls about the event.
"He's going to be the main attraction," Buchanan said. "He's just coming back from Chicago, so we are really excited to have him."
Also during the event, the Circus Arts Conservatory, where Wallenda volunteers, will perform circus events.
Since Wallenda drives a Ford, it works out great for the event, he said.
"We are excited to have Nik be part of our special day," Buchanan said.
Claire Aronson, University Parkway/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.