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NEWS BRIEFS A crowd gathered at Mattison's in downtown Sarasota watches as aerialist Nik Wallenda attempts to become the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a high wire. Photo by Norman Schimmel WALLENDA HOMECOMING PLANNED FOR OCT. 19 Nik Wallenda, internationally known high-wire artist and Circus Sarasota star, will be given a hero's welcome when he steps off a JetBlue flight at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport on Friday morning, Oct. 19, Circus Sarasota has announced. The flight is expected to arrive at 10:45 a.m. The public is invited to the airport to wel- come Wallenda home for the first time since his walk across the falls in mid-June. The airport celebration will include remarks by Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell, the read- ing of a proclamation by Sarasota County Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson "and Sailor Circus youth cheering their idol on!" a Circus Sarasota news release says. Pedro Reis, co-founder and CEO of Circus Sarasota, also will be at the airport to wel- come his friend and announce that Wallenda will be the star of the circus' 2013 season, the news release says. The reception will take place in the airport's lower level, adjacent to the waterfall between the departure/ticketing area and baggage claim, the release says. Free parking courtesy of the airport management has been arranged for those planning to attend the event. (Wal- lenda signs at the airport will guide drivers.) "Over the weeks leading up to his walk above The Falls, Nik Wallenda shared the spotlight with his hometown; and the world took note," said Reis in the news release.

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