Tickets for Wallenda walk available Friday

May 30, 2012

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.

The two sides of the border are approaching the event a little differently. On the New York side, parks spokesperson Angela Berti says there will be one gated area on Goat Island with space for up to 4,000 who get to the web first on Friday.

"At 9  o'clock in the morning at you will be able to go onto that web site and order," Berti said.

A wrist band will allow access to a gated area on Terrapin Point for groups of up to five with lawn chairs but no coolers.

As far as parking, spectators are on their own, although Berti says all state parks lots will be open and there is a lot of parking space in Niagara Falls.

Ontario's Niagara Parks Commission is relying on peripheral parking lots and its shuttle bus system. Chairperson Janice Thomson says most of the area near the Falls will be pedestrian-friendly.

"We have some special sponsored areas where sponsors will be hosting their own guests," Thomson said. "The balance of the area, the majority of the area, will be open to the general public. We will be closing the road down from Clifton Hill so there will be lots of room for people to stroll and experience the entire event. It will be wide open."

Thomson says it's great free advertising for Niagara Falls, Ontario and New York.