Posted: Wednesday, August 13th 2014 at 9:42pm
Tallulah Falls mayor: Wallenda walk timing uncertain
By Rob Moore Editor
Whether Nik Wallenda will walk across Tallulah Gorge next July as announced is uncertain, Tallulah Falls Mayor Carl Seaman says. (Photo/Georgia Department of Natural Resources)
TALLULAH FALLS - Whether Nik Wallenda will do a high-wire walk across Tallulah Gorge next July as announced is uncertain.
Responding to a question from resident Terri Dobbs during Wednesday's Tallulah Falls Town Council meeting, Mayor Carl Seaman said, "We're nowhere on Wallenda. What I can gather talking to some people in Atlanta is we're waiting on the Discovery Channel. Supposedly they're going to be footing the bill - it's a $2-million bill to pull it off."
Nik Wallenda has said he wants to walk over Tallulah Gorge on or around the 45th anniversary of his great-grandfather Karl's walk, which puts it around July 18, 2015.
Wallenda, who lives in Sarasota, Fla., raised the idea during an interview with the Associated Press after a walk in Atlanta earlier this year.
"I know he really wanted to hit the anniversary date," said Councilwoman Deb Goatcher.
"He did," Seaman said. "He still wants to do this."
Seaman said he has heard the Discovery Channel wants Wallenda to do a walk in Switzerland before he does the walk at Tallulah Gorge, noting that no one has applied for a permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for the possible walk across the gorge.
State officials have said they would like to see the walk occur, but a permit would be required.
Following the meeting, Seaman further discussed the issue.
"The update basically is nothing to say because there's nothing going on," Seaman said. "We're waiting on the money, and nobody seems to know when that money's coming. Supposedly, Discovery Channel is going to be putting up the money."
Seaman said a documentary is planned of preparation for the walk across Tallulah Gorge, but he's not sure the event can happen next year as planned.
"There may be a scheduling conflict for when they want to do it here, so we're in a wait-and-see game right now," Seaman said. "As soon as somebody comes up with the money to do it, I know he wants to do it - we want him to do it, but we need enough time to get the logistics in place for an onslaught of people in a town of 200."
Seaman estimated some 250,000 people would attend, translating to 70,000 vehicles.
"Where are you going to park that many vehicles around here?" he said.
Seaman said if those involved wait too long, there's no way they'll be able to keep the July 2015 schedule because there are too many logistics involved.
"They could still do it, but they'll have to push the date back," Seaman said. "They need to allow us enough time to do it so it can be done safely and well."
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