Nik Wallenda


The push is on to install brighter lights to shine on Niagara Falls.  The move would replace the current lights which are nearly 75-years-old.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Outlined against the setting sun, Nik Wallenda walked the high wire Sunday night at the Erie County Fair while thousands watched

Monument marks Wallenda's walk across Niagara Falls

Jul 7, 2014
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

A monument was erected in Niagara Falls State Park Monday to commemorate Nik Wallenda’s historic walk across the falls. The limestone plaque was unveiled on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Special events planned for the 175th Erie County Fair in August include a high-wire act by daredevil Nik Wallenda and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's first solo concert at the fair in nearly 60 years.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The "King of the High Wire" is returning to Western New York this summer for an extended stay.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Just days after announcing plans for a walk over the Grand Canyon, daredevil Nik Wallenda returned to Niagara Falls Friday.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Daredevil Nik Wallenda is back in the City of Niagara Falls for the first time since his high-wire stunt over the Horseshoe Falls two months ago.

The purpose of the visit is to scout out possible locations for a family entertainment center.  While the attraction could end up on either side of the river, Wallenda says his heart is on the U.S. side.  

WBFO News file photo

Highwire walker Nik Wallenda is apparently thumbing his nose at the City of Niagara Falls.

New York State legislation that paved the way for Wallenda's stunt last month required the City be reimbursed for providing public safety.

But Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said Wallenda still owes taxpayers more than $25,000 for overtime costs.

"A total cost for us.  This is just public safety overtime stemming from the event itself," said Mayor Dyster.

Wallenda told the Buffalo News "it's just disgusting and sad [that Niagara Falls is asking for money.]"

WBFO News photo by Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

High-wire daredevil Nik Wallenda has raised the money he was seeking to help cover last month's successful walk over Niagara Falls. 

Wallenda had issue his financial request on the fundraising Website  A check of Wallenda's request page indicates that  he raisers  $50,421 by the end of the June 30 deadline he set for himself.  The amount raised surpasses his $50,000 goal. 

Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

The crowds have gone home, but tourism officials on both sides of the border are looking at ways to capitalize on the successful walk of Nik Wallenda.

With television viewers as far away as China watching Wallenda's performance live, there's a lot more awareness of the cataract and the views.

Now, the push is to take advantage of the event, with planners in New York and Ontario preparing the message spin.

Niagara Falls, New York Mayor Paul Dyster says people still come because of the Marilyn Monroe film "Niagara," and that was released in 1953.

Photos by Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

Nik Wallenda completed his high-wire walk over Niagara Falls in a little more than 25 minutes Friday night.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Elibol

 The daredevil wire walk of Nik Wallenda is set to begin at about 10:12 p.m. Friday. 

 WBFO & AM-970 has a team already in place at Goat Island in Niagara Falls, New York.  Reporters Chris Caya and Daniel Robison arrived Friday morning to be in place for the night's walk.  WNED-TV's Eileen Elibol is also on site taking photos for WBFO & AM-970.

We will provide live, on-air coverage Friday night starting at 10 p.m. on 88.7 FM & AM 970.


Wallenda crowds will challenge border crossings

Jun 15, 2012

With an estimated crowd of 120,000 expected tonight in Niagara Falls, officials are preparing for heavy traffic on area roads and bridges.

Interest in Nik Wallenda's walk across the Niagara Gorge has prompted border officials to ask for the public's help. 

Heavy vehicle and pedestrian on the Rainbow Bridge will keep customs workers occupied, but the process can be expedited if travelers have proper documentation.

Approved paperwork, like a  passport, passport card or enhanced driver's license, must be shown before access into the United States will be granted.

Daniel Robison / WBFO

Niagara Falls, N.Y. sees Nik Wallenda’s Friday night wirewalk as its best chance in decades to revive tourism and spark economic development.

But measuring Wallenda’s long-term impact may be tough - assuming there’s an impact at all.

“Part of our mystique”

The Daredevil Museum in Niagara Falls, N.Y. is a shrine to those who have tried to conquer the natural wonder.

WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

 Preparations are in full-swing at Goat Island in Niagara Falls for Nik Wallenda's high-wire walk this Friday. 

O'Connell Electric, a Western New York electrical business, has been working on the cable project for nearly a year. 

Michael Parkes is the Power Group Manager at O'Connell.  He said his crews will feed the cable through a 40-thousand pound line tensioner that is anchored down on Goat Island. 

Wallenda "spectacle" draws a crowd

Jun 12, 2012

It may be an unattractive truth, but the chance of injury, or even death, draws interest in events like  Nik Wallenda's walk across Niagara Falls.

That's according to Professor David Schmid of the University at Buffalo, who told WBFO and AM970's Jim Ranney that he was disappointed, like many others, that Wallenda agreed to wear a safety harness during the Friday night walk.

Nonetheless, Schmid says he'll be watching like millions of others.

Listen to more of that conversation here.


WBFO & AM-97 photo by Eileen Koteras Elibol

Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That's expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It's an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city's economy.

Officials on both sides of the border continue preparing for Nik Wallenda's high wire walk over the Horseshoe Falls this Friday night.

According to Wallenda's estimates,  120,000 people could turn out for the daredevil's walk across the Horeshoe Falls. 

Most of the crowd though will be on the Canadian side, which has the most room,  and offers the best sight lines of the wire which will be 180-feet above the lower Niagara River. 

Parks Police Major David Page says 25,000 to 30,000 people are expected in and around Goat Island and the City of Niagara Falls. 

WBFO News photos by Daniel Robison

This is a big business week in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Anthony Annunziata, Marketing Vice President, says his customers will have the best view of the walk  from the Marriott Gateway at the Falls and the Marriott Fallsview hotels.

That's more than 800 rooms looking out at the Falls and the walk.

Perhaps the biggest event on the hotel calendar in the Ontario Cataract City is New Year's Eve. Annunziata believes this will be as big and and the hotel room rates will be high.

WBFO News photos by Daniel Robison

Law enforcement and emergency service agencies in Ontario have signed-off on an "integrated public safety plan" for Nik Wallenda's wire walk June 15.

Niagara Parks Police Chief Douglas Kane said the crowd for the rare event over the Horseshoe Falls will likely be "wall-to-wall."

WBFO News photos by Daniel Robison

State Senator George Maziarz was a key player in bringing the high-wire dare-devil act of Nik Wallenda to Niagara Falls in hopes of generating an international tourism event to boost the local economy.  

WBFO & AM-970'S Eileen Buckley talked to Maziarz about final preparations for the event and Wallenda's call out to citizens to offer financial support for next Friday's high wire walk over Niagara Falls. 


As Nik Wallenda's walk across the Niagara Gorge gets closer, park authorities on both sides of the gorge are unveiling their plans for June 15.

Officials are expecting thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people to show up and see what is expected to be a 35-40 minute walk by the aerialist across the gorge. That means thousands of pedestrians and the need to find space for thousands of cars.

Niagara County's political wars aren't being suspended while Nik Wallenda readies for his walk above the Niagara Gorge.

State Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman John Ceretto were sponsors of legislation to allow the Wallenda walk to take place.

Both have criticized City Hall and Mayor Paul Dyster, saying they aren't properly supporting the event.

Dyster found a defender in City Council Member Kristen Grandinetti.

At network's insistence, Wallenda to be tethered

May 21, 2012
Daniel Robison/WBFO

Daredevil Nik Wallenda says he's not happy about it but he'll probably be tethered to the tightrope that he plans to walk over Niagara Falls next month.

Wallenda says Monday that ABC is adamant about making him wear the safety device out of concern for viewers who tune in to the network's three-hour, prime-time special on June 15.

He says he's upset by the condition because he's never worn a tether during a performance and it will give him another thing to contend with as he walks through the mist and wind over the waterfall.

File Photo / WBFO, AM 970 News

Complications continue arise in Nik Wallenda's high wire walk across the falls.

Sponsors for the event are posing challenges which would require Wallenda to wear a safety device and to reverse course to walk from the Canadian side to the American shore. The state has yet to weigh in on whether there will be a fee to view the event. Wallenda wants it to be free of charge.

The News reports that the Wallenda camp is confident that all issues will be resolved.

File Photo / WBFO, AM 970 News

The first in a series of test walks was performed by daredevil Nik Wallenda Saturday morning.

Wallenda strode a wire that was strung between a pair of cranes outside of the Seneca Niagara Casino. He is preparing for his scheduled high-wire walk above Niagara Falls next month. The practice run drew hundreds of onlookers, many who came early to get a good spot for watching the spectacle. The Buffalo News reports that Wallenda is planning to hold two practice sessions every day through May 22, both morning and afternoon walks.

The practice runs are open to the public.

Wallenda's wire walk to be televised nationally

May 11, 2012

The daredevil walk of Nik Wallenda over Niagara Falls has been turned into a primetime network event.  

ABC announced today that it will devote its entire primetime schedule on June 15 to a three hour special as Wallenda attempts to walk over the falls on a tightrope. 

Meanwhile, in Niagara Falls, outside the Seneca Niagara Casino, preparations are underway for the high-wire walk.  Construction of a 1,200- foot high wire and spectator seating is underway. 

WBFO News file photo

Famed tightrope walker Nik Wallenda appeared in Niagara Falls, New York Monday morning to announce the official date of his walk across the Falls.

Wallenda said he will conduct his highly anticipated walk on June 15th.  Wallenda appeared with state and local Niagara Parks Commission to announce his highwire act that will take place across the Niagara Gorge. Wallenda received both U.S. and Canadian approval for the event. 

Wallenda will make the approximate 1,800 foot crossing above the world-renowed Horeshoe Falls.

WBFO News file photo

It may not be an optimal date, but Business First's Jim Fink believes Nik Wallenda's June 15th walk across Niagara Falls should boost tourism, if only temporarily.

Discussing the topic Monday morning on WBFO and AM970's Press Pass, Fink said in "a perfect world" the walk would have taken place in September.

Without Wallenda's appearance, hotels on both sides of the border would still  enjoy near full occupancy in June.

Jim Fink also offers updates on the restored Lafayette Hotel and the summer concert season coming to the Central Wharf.