Loop Chicago


Daredevil Nik Wallenda to walk across Chicago River, 50 stories up

On Sunday, November 2, Nik Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the legendary Wallenda Family, will attempt his most audacious and challenging tightrope walk to date—over the Chicago River! This exciting event, Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda, is presented by the Discovery Channel, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and Chicago Film Office. The program will air LIVE around the world in over 220 countries.

Nik Wallenda has planned two separate tightrope crossings. The first walk will be uphill at a 15-degree angle, a distance farther than two city blocks, and more than 50 stories above the Chicago River. He will walk from the iconic Marina City West Tower at 300 North State Street to the Leo Burnett Building at 35 West Upper Wacker Drive. This is the highest skyscraper walk in the history of the "Flying Wallenda" Family and the first walk attempted at such a steep angle. The second walk spans from the West Tower of Marina City to the East Tower.

For those who plan to watch from home, the program will be broadcast LIVE on the Discovery Channel beginning at 6:00 p.m. Public viewing areas will be setup along Wacker Drive between Clark and Dearborn, with a second viewing area between Wabash and State.

The event is FREE and no tickets are required. To view the Discovery Channel press release, click here.

The rain date is Monday, November 3, 2014.

Planned Street Closures for Wallenda Wire Walk

Sunday, November 2 (5:00 - 9:00 p.m.)

Click here for map (times may vary based on CPD discretion)

Full street closure:

  • Wacker Drive from State to Dearborn
  • State Street Bridge
  • Dearborn Street Bridge

Tentative closures (at the discretion of the police, these closures will be applied only if needed for safety and crowd control):

  • State Street from Kinzie to State Street Bridge: local vehicle and pedestrian access to Marina City and parking garage may be restricted
  • State Street from Lake to Wacker: local vehicle and pedestrian access to Renaissance Hotel may be restricted
  • Dearborn Street from Kinzie to Dearborn Street Bridge: local pedestrian access to House of Blues may be restricted
  • Dearborn Street from Lake to Wacker: local pedestrian access to Catch 35 may be restricted

Chicago River restrictions:

  • No Access along Chicago River between State and Dearborn from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for the duration of the program and wire walk

Closures for production staging:

  • East side of Dearborn Street from Bride to Kinzie (curb lane and sidewalk)
  • North side of Wacker Drive from State to Wabash (curb lane and sidewalk)
  • East side of Clark Street from Bridge north ½ block (curb and 1 traffic lane)
  • North side of Wacker from Wabash to Michigan (trolley bus lane)

Click here to download the Skyscraper Live Footprint and Closures map.

Information: the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly; Photo: Discovery Channel / Facebook

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