Sarasota daredevil returns home to warm welcome - FOX 13 News

Sarasota daredevil returns home to warm welcome

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SARASOTA (FOX 13) -

When the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Parade of Boats got started earlier tonight, the rain also started.

A steady stream of showers didn't matter as hundreds packed the streets to welcome home their favorite daredevil, and favorite son Nik Wallenda.

The people of Sarasota are used to cheering for Nik Wallenda high above the Earth performing death defying acts.

Friday they were able to get a closer look at their favorite son, and cheered just as hard.

"We love Nik Wallenda!" said Cherie Dinoia of Sarasota.

Wallenda, fresh off of his June tightrope walk over the Little River Gorge near the Grand Canyon, returned home to Sarasota and couldn't be happier.

"It's an honor to be here, and I love this city and I think we're about to see how much this city loves me as well as the boat races," said Wallenda.

Wallenda served as the honorary Grand Marshall of the 29th annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Parade of Boats.

Edgar Hansen of Discovery Channel's "The Deadliest Catch" was the parade's Grand Marshall.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic," said Isobel Davidson, visiting from Scotland.

While the boats were a big part of the show, it was clear Wallenda was the main attraction.

"It was cool, I had to holler at him and he thumbed me back, that was cool," said Michael McClung of Sarasota.

Wallenda, always the humble daredevil, was thrilled with the opportunity to say hello to his fans and says his feats are always done with Sarasota on his mind.

"I try to shine the light on Sarasota to the world because I love this city," said Wallenda.

And it was clear Friday, even in the rain, that the city loves him right back.

"We were so proud that he was from Sarasota, he's our guy!" said Dinoia.

Wallenda says he's planning on staying busy.

He says he's working on a walk over a Major League Baseball game next month, and down the line he hopes to walk somewhere over New York City.

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