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Nik Wallenda and Norbert Schramm named Grand Marshals of 2012 German-American Steuben Parade
Click each picture to watch their videos on YouTube!
Nik Wallenda, the famous acrobat, daredevil and noted "King of the High Wire", and Norbert Schramm, German Olympic Figure Skater, will be the Grand Marshals of the 2012 German-American Steuben Parade; on Saturday, September 15, they will lead one of the largest and most colorful ethnic parades in New York City up Fifth Avenue.
"We are excited to honor two great German-Americans as Grand Marshals this year," said Steuben Parade General Chairman Lars Halter. "Nik Wallenda is a seventh generation member of the famous Wallenda family of artists, and his ancestors happen to be from Magdeburg - the very same city that is also the birthplace of General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, whom the Parade is named after."
For Nik, every walk is an expression of honor to his great grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda who brought the Wallendas to America for The Greatest Show on Earth. During the depression era, his crowning achievement was the seven-person chair pyramid: four men standing on a wire as two pair, with two more men standing on their shoulder bars, holding a woman sitting, then standing on a chair at the top of the pyramid.
Ever since, the Wallendas have stunned their audience with their death-defying stunts. Earlier this year, Nik Wallenda joined the ranks of legendary daredevils when he became the first person ever to walk across the roaring Niagara Falls on a two-inch steel wire. The historic event was broadcast live by ABC to an audience reaching 13.3 million Americans, garnering the highest rating for a non-sports broadcast of any network in six years.
Currently, Nik Wallenda & The Wallenda Family Experience can be seen at the Tropicana Atlantic City in a six-week-run until September 22, 2012. True to
family tradition, Nik opened the residency with a wire walk on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk. City Emergency Management Director Tom Foley estimated a crowd of 250,000 witnessed Wallenda's walk. Up next, Nik Wallenda is in the advanced planning stages of a death-defying wire walk across the Grand Canyon.
Leading the Steuben Parade alongside Nik, is German figure skater Norbert Schramm, who represented Germany at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984 and who is a two-time European Champion, two time World Silver Medalist, and a three-time German National Champion. He gained worldwide publicity for his red outfits, his choreography and spontaneous creativity on ice, and for creating new spins and reinventing old forgotten spins on the ice. Early on, he was labeled The "World's Best Ice Entertainer".
In 1984, after a successful amateur career, Norbert Schramm started his pro-career and became Professional World Champion in Washington, DC. Later, he had celebrated appearances in the ice revue "Holiday on Ice" before becoming a producer of his own shows.
Throughout his career, Norbert Schramm captivated his fans with his complex technical routines as well as his humor and creativity. One of his most famous performances has him do all the difficult jumps - axel, lutz and toe loop - in traditional Bavarian Lederhosen before dancing around an oversize beer mug. He was also known for a spectacular tango routine on ice.
In recent years, Norbert Schramm has become a beloved TV celebrity performing in "Dancing with the Stars" as well as the highly successful German version of "I´m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here". He recently undertook long travels to South America, completed the famed pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and ran his first marathon.
Currently, Norbert Schramm lives in the Greater New York area and works as a photographer, often taking pictures at events in the German-American community.
Both, Nik Wallenda and Norbert Schramm, are looking forward to leading the German-American Steuben Parade as Grand Marshals. They will be introduced at a Gala event aboard the "Hornblower Infinity", the tallest and most elegant yacht in New York harbor on Friday, September 14th, before marching on Fifth Avenue on September 15th, joined by several dignitaries, including German Ambassador Peter Ammon. (Tickets for the Gala are available at 917-929-6260.)
The 2012 Steuben Parade will once again bring tens of thousands of fans to Fifth Avenue to cheer for a colorful parade of thousands of marchers. More than thirty marching bands, a dozen dance groups, several "Karneval" (Mardi Gras) groups, as well as over 27 festive floats make this year´s festivities one of the greatest in the 55 year long history of the event.
For the second year in a row, the 2012 Steuben Parade will be broadcast live on PBS-affiliate WNET, with a repeat scheduled for Sunday, September 16th, on WLIW.