Nik Wallenda during a practice walk in Niagara Falls
NIAGARA FALLS, NY- The countdown is on until Nik Wallenda walks in 2 history Friday. Crews were busy Wednesday securing the tightrope in place.
For the first time, we also saw the platform that would lift Wallenda to his starting point on the 1800 foot walk across the Mighty Niagara.
Throughout Terrapin Point, crews were busy setting up tents, fencing, even Portapotties, getting it ready for thousands of visitors, and 300 members of the international media to arrive.
On Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls USA vendors are beginning to set up their booths. Unprecedented crowds are expected for its circus themed event "Side Show", which will complement Nik Wallenda's walk in 2 history. The event will feature performances such as fire breathers and acrobats, a petting zoo, live music, and more than 20 local merchants and food vendors. Those who weren't able to secure tickets to see Nik Wallenda's walk will be able to view it from one of the two big screen TV's set up on Old Falls Street. "Side Show" will take place from 11AM to 11PM.
Nik Wallenda arrived back in town Wednesday and Melissa Holmes was able to catch up with him, one-one-one, to find out how he's holding up.
Holmes: How real is this getting?
Wallenda: It's pretty real. As you can see the wire is strung. It's ready to go and so am I. I'm ready to get back on it now.
Holmes: So what's happening for you in these next 48 hours?
Wallenda: A lot of TV interviews and a lot of meet and greet. On the Canadian side I did a couple and I've just been very, very busy.
Holmes: We see the dip. How big is this incline and decline?
Wallenda: It drops about 32 feet on center. So to give you an idea it's about 3 stories down into the middle and then back up hill. I've walked a wire since I was two years old and this is my life. My great-grandfather said it best. He said, "Life is on the wire and everything else is just waiting."
Holmes: We saw you talking to the crew. What were you saying?
Wallenda: Just thanking them. They worked throughout the night to make this happen. I can't thank them enough. I'm very appreciative of them. They're definitely a part of history and a part of making my dream come true.
Holmes: How confident are you about the way it's strung and that it will support you?
Wallenda: Very confident. Everything has gone incredibly well and I've got amazing engineers and amazing technical staff. Not even a second though about the safety of that cable.
Holmes: This is the biggest event to happen to Niagara Falls in its history, and you're making it happen. How excited are you?
Wallenda: Very excited. It's always awesome to say you're a part of history. Not many people can say that. It's an honor to be here. It's an honor to be in this area. And I hope that it does what we've always wanted it to do for this area, and give a big economic boost to this region.
Holmes: What about the harness? Some people say you're going to take it off as soon as you get up there. Is that going to happen?
Wallenda: You know, probably not. I have to respect my partner, the networks. We did fight the good fight. But in the end, I respect the fact that their viewership audience needs to be guaranteed that Nik Wallenda won't die live on national TV. And that's really what it came down to. The fact that they're showing it live, even though there's a delay, for them to be a part of it, would be detrimental to them as well. So I have to respect those guidelines and those boundaries.
Holmes: This is the biggest walk of your life. Are there any nerves whatsoever?
Wallenda: No, none whatsoever. I've done walks longer and I've done walks higher. It's just a unique walk with the most incredible backdrop in the world underneath me and behind me.