Tightrope-walking Wallenda siblings will travel 25 stories above Times Square

Posted On Tue, May 28, 2019 By

Posted On Tue, May 28, 2019 By In Events, Midtown

Nik Wallenda on the tightrope at Canada’s Wonderland in 2009; via Flickr

A brother and sister tightrope walking duo will attempt to travel 25 stories above Times Square next month. Nik and Lijana Wallenda will balance 1,300 feet on a tightrope between One Times Square and Two Times Square on June 23, ABC announced Thursday. The television network will broadcast the “never-before-attempted” daredevil stunt live during a two-hour special.

Nik and Lijana are members of the “Flying Wallendas” circus act, made famous by their grandfather Karl Wallenda during the 1940s. Over the years, the family has suffered from a handful of tragedies during their dangerous acts, including the death of Karl in 1978.

And in 2017, five Wallenda performers, including Lijana, were seriously injured when they fell 30 feet off a tightrope during a rehearsal for an eight-person pyramid stunt in Florida. Next month’s walk will be Lijana’s first highwire walk since the accident.

However, it will not be the Wallenda family’s first New York City stunt. In 1928, they made their American debut at Madison Square Garden, performing without a net. Nik said the June 23 performance will serve as a tribute to his family’s first NYC act.

“And on June 23, I have the great opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of my own by paying homage to that performance as we return for my most exhilarating feat yet,” Nik said in a statement.  “I am beyond excited to be able to walk with my sister, Lijana, as she overcomes near-death injuries and continues the Wallenda tradition of never giving up!”

Nik attempted to walk via tightrope between the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building in 2013, but the idea was nixed by former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, according to amNY.

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