I know we wrote about Wallenda’s Wirewalk last week with hope and anticipation, but I felt we needed to speak about it one last time.
We were there.
Katie and I are two hermits who typically hide out at home creating content for our clients or playing video games or watching movies, but we were down there among the masses taking it all in live!
And it was awesome.
We started our workday early so we would be able to slip out sometime around 4 pm. Our trip from Port Colborne is typically 35 minutes or so, and even with all the hoopla and huge crowds, we made it in our usual time and parked our car safely at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.
A short walk to a local restaurant on Stanley Avenue where we enjoyed a nice meal and then we were making our way down to the Falls Incline Railway to the Niagara Parkway where the big event was starting to come together.
Even at 7 PM the crowds were just starting to gather and it had me wondering candidly to myself if maybe this whole thing wouldn’t meet the expectations of everyone who had been talking about it for so long.
I needn’t have worried.
We found our spot with access to a bathroom and cold drinks while live music from the Niagara band Jonesy entertained us.
It was incredible to see the people come together, tons of First Responders (police, fire, paramedics) were on hand and visibly making their presence known, regional and national news crews were looking for their angles to this once-in-a-lifetime story and people of all ages waited in anticipation to see something both amazing and surreal.
By now, everyone knows (SPOILER ALERT) he made it across safely.
I think we all were impressed and inspired by Nik Wallenda as he shared his dream with all of us and those of us here in Niagara have every reason to be proud of how this world class event transpired. No major hiccups, no traffic nightmares, no incidents. Wallenda chose our home for his spectacle and we showed him the respect he deserves and the hospitality that is at the heart of our people.
One major advantage of sitting there and watching it live was I didn’t have to listen to the overly dramatic hyperbole of a made-for-TV event but instead was a little closer to watching a man risking his life against the major backdrop that is Niagara Falls.
I looked out across the thousands of spectators at the red speck moving one step at a time across a wire I could barely see and one thought crossed my mind. I distinctly remember thinking there is more than 100,000 people watching this live, millions more across the planet on TV, he has a staff of engineers and his father’s voice on the other end of an earpiece, but for a little more than half a kilometer, he was as alone as any man could be.
Nik Wallenda needed a team of people give him a chance to make his dream a reality, but it would be him alone who would take the steps to make it come true.
It has been an inspiration to see what he has done, the impact it will have here in my home of Niagara and I hope that it all inspires others to pursue their dreams regardless of how cynical the world can be around them.
Thanks, Nik, for sharing your dream with Niagara and the world.
JUST THE FACTS:
Nik first had the dream to walk across Niagara Falls when he was 6 years old
The cable was 3 pennies thick
The length of the cable was 1800 feet
Live attendance in Canada: 125,000
ABC live TV audience 13.1 million viewers
Estimated worldwide TV audience: 1 billion people