Nik Wallenda To Be Welcomed Home in Sarasota County at Festival Parade of Boats


Lynn Hobeck Bates, 941-955-0991 Ext. 103
[email protected]


Nik Wallenda To Be Welcomed Home in Sarasota County at

Festival Parade of Boats
Friday, July 5, 2013


SARASOTA, Fla. (June 26, 2013) –Nik Wallenda, the first person to walk across the Grand Canyon on a high wire, and Sarasota County resident and native, will be welcomed home in celebratory fashion. The Suncoast Charities for Children announced it will dedicate this year’s 29th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Parade of Boats in honor of Wallenda. Scheduled for July 5, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., Wallenda will be the Parade’s Honorary Grand Marshal. Edgar Hansen of Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" will serve as the Grand Marshal.

This year's parade is presented by Macy's and Sarasota Ford and will showcase more than 60 entries featuring race teams from around the world.

"It is an honor for Suncoast Charities for Children to dedicate this year's parade in honor of Nik for his outstanding accomplishments, and for what he has done for the Sarasota area, known for its’ circus heritage", says Festival Director Lucy Nicandri.

Wallenda successfully walked without a tether across a 1,500 foot, 2-inch wire at Little River Gorge near the Grand Canyon on Sunday, June 23, 2013. It was televised live exclusively on the Discovery Channel’s worldwide network in 217 countries. Visit Sarasota County sponsored, in part, Wallenda’s training at Sarasota County’s Nathan Benderson Park.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nik Wallenda back home,” said Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota County. “His training and walk across the Grand Canyon brought extraordinary attention to Sarasota County and we cannot think of a better way to welcome him home than an old-fashioned Main Street parade.”

To further celebrate Sarasota County’s circus heritage, Circus Sarasota will have a float in the parade as well. Circus Sarasota has presented Wallenda in his 2010 and 2013 hometown skywalks and is proud to be part of this celebration. The hometown circus arts organization will represent the legacy of our community in the boat parade with some of Nik's biggest fans, the students training with Circus Sarasota.

"While we originally hoped for a separate parade welcoming Nik Wallenda home from the Grand Canyon, logistically it just made great sense for Nik to be a part of the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Parade of Boats," said Matt Walsh, one of the organizers of a Main Street parade for Wallenda. "With Nik and the boat parade together, the atmosphere and excitement should be awesome."  

The parade will run from U.S. 301 to Gulf stream Avenue and will be televised live on SNN Local News. A block party, sponsored by The Observer Media Group, will take place at the corner of Lemon Avenue and Main Street from 5 p.m.-Midnight.

For more information on the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival, visit For more information on Sarasota County’s rich circus history visit




About Sarasota County

Located on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a diverse array of culinary experiences and a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the clear waters and the great outdoors. Sarasota County provides the quintessential, laid-back beach getaway with numerous sprawling, white-sand beaches, including Siesta Key Beach, named "America's Best Beach" in 2011 by Stephen Leatherman, aka, Dr. Beach. Dubbed "Home of the American Circus," Sarasota County served as the headquarters for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus for 75 years, and visitors can experience its unique circus heritage first-hand by following the circus trail or catching a performance by one of two local circus companies. For more information on visiting Sarasota County, visit or call (941) 706-1253