GO WIRE TO WIRE WITH NIK WALLENDA AT RINGLING MUSEUM
Sarasota, FL – March 6, 2012 – Ahead of one of his most challenging stunts yet and childhood dream of crossing Niagara Falls on a record-setting 1,800 foot tightrope this summer, get up-close and personal during the Ringling Museum’s Center Ring Saturdays with Nik Wallenda at the home of America’s first circus museum. Go backstage with the 33-year old high wire artist, acrobat and daredevil in the backyard of the Circus Museum on Saturday, March 10 from noon to 2 p.m.
In a revealing and entertaining behind-the-scenes look with “The King of the High Wire”, the seventh generation of the legendary Great Wallendas relives his most dramatic and exhilarating stunts. He also shares stories of the Great Wallendas whose remarkable feats are memorialized in the new interactive family galleries of the Tibbals Learning Center, part of the Ringling’s vast circus collection. A family activity is included.
Wallenda is the holder of six Guinness World Records, including the record for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by bicycle on a high wire set in 2008. He first set foot on a practice wire at age two. In the past year, he has bicycled across cables strung between hotel towers, run atop a "wheel of death" attached to a 23-storey Las Vegas hotel (a kind of giant hamster treadmill) and hung by his jaw from a helicopter some 75 m over the asphalt of Silver Dollar City. He has climbed inside a wooden box with two sticks of dynamite, blown it up and lived to describe the sensation ("like getting kicked in the chest by a horse").
Nik Wallenda is a visionary and showman in the model of John Ringling, the legendary circus king and leader in the early twentieth century of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus The Greatest Show on Earth. Center Ring Saturdays at the Ringling are a great way for youngsters and their families to be educated and entertained by stars like Nik Wallenda and the Ringling circus collection.
A collaboration between the Ringling Museum and Circus Sarasota, Center Ring Saturdays offer a backstage pass and rare opportunity for families to learn the art, skills, and science behind the magic of a circus performance. Designed for families with young children (recommended for children 4 to 12 years old), Center Ring Saturdays occur every second Saturday of each month.
Center Ring Saturdays are included with regular admission to the Ringling Museum. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for senior citizens; $5 for children ages 6-17; and free for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult, as well as museum members.
In this the inaugural year of the program, center ring stars, such as Dolly Jacobs (“The Queen of the Air”); clowns Karen Bell and Robin Eurich with the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus’s The Greatest Show on Earth; and hand-to-hand balancer Johnny Yong; have entertained patrons with captivating stories of their circus performance art and life behind the scenes.
“Every time I visit The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art I am reminded that I am standing on the shoulders of giants,” said Wallenda. “John Ringling hired my great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, whose crowning achievement was the seven-person chair pyramid in 1947 with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The father of three children, I am passionate about our youth and inspiring them to pursue their dreams. I commend the Ringling for bringing educational programs like this to the youth in my hometown and our surrounding communities. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for extreme performance art, as well as making new friendships with the boys and girls and their families.”
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