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Wallenda walks the wire at Erie County Fair

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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Outlined against the setting sun, Nik Wallenda walked the high wire Sunday night at the Erie County Fair while thousands watched

Using a microphone as he walked, Wallenda was able to speak to spectators as he inched along a wire suspended 1,400 above the ground.

Halfway through the walk, Wallenda took off his state-mandated safety tether. He finished the walk with a safety net being wheeled along below.

"It is really cool. It's amazing," said spectator Tyler Tanevski.

Tanevski may have been speaking for the many in attendance Sunday night.

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Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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Wallenda says he was at the fair when he was a kid with the family high-wire show.

"I remember seeing [a sign reading]: Welcome to the Erie County Fair, because I always hosted the show at that age," Wallenda told reporters.

"It was down the hill over here that we performed. It's exciting and fun to come back to a place where I was 13 years old."

Volunteer firefighters from the area were asked to hold the ropes used to stabilize the wire while Wallenda walked.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.