Niagara Falls has long been known as a hotbed of entertainment, culture, and awe-inspiring sights. From the region’s storied wine country, shopping, and world-class musical offerings to the stunning waterfalls themselves, any trip to Niagara is an opportunity ripe with chances to have the time of your life.
But ever since the advent of the Clifton Hill Summer of Thrills stunt shows, the good times that can be had around the Falls — especially for the whole family — has truly reached new heights. Running from July 2 all the way through September 7, 2015, here is a look at the amazing, free street performances heating up Niagara four times a day, Thursday through Monday.
If you’re planning a trip to the Niagara region during the height of the season on any day but Tuesday or Wednesday, be sure to set aside an hour one afternoon to catch the Summer of Thrills acts at either 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., or 8 p.m.
The Wheel of Fate
Set atop the Imperial Hotel, the Wheel of Fate looks like something out of an early 20th century circus act, but instead of sitting reasonably at ground level in a ring beneath a circus’s big tent, it sits 10 stories above Victoria Avenue. If you can imagine a giant hamster wheel powered by a human daredevil urging the wheel round and round, then, you can also imagine that spinning hamster wheel is set at one end of a giant lever that is also in rotation. The daredevil’s silhouette is easily visible to the naked eye so that everyone on the street below can marvel at his or her ability to balance, spin, and maintain equilibrium while tolerating heights and the prospect of his or her own mortality. Kids and adults alike will absolutely love it.
High Wire Sky Cycle
It’s only fitting that one of the Clifton Hill’s Summer of Thrills performances should involve a tightrope. After all, tightrope walkers near the end of the 19th century were at least partially responsible for Niagara Falls becoming such a popular destination for travelers from around the globe. The High Wire Sky Cycle is a stunt that takes place on a wire stretched between Day’s Inn and Tussaud’s on Victoria Avenue. Because, apparently, it isn’t enough to just ride a motorcycle across the wire, an aerialist is also suspended beneath the motorcycle on a trapeze, and because, apparently, it isn’t enough to just cling tightly to your trapeze in hopes the motorcycle you’re tied to doesn’t plummet to the ground below, the aerialist performs death-defying stunts on the trapeze throughout the high wire ride.
If you need a break from the heights, or, if you need a chance to gear up for them, another spectacular part of the Summer of Thrills act are the fire and chainsaw jugglers who precede each installment of the Wheel of Fate and the High Wire Sky Cycle. Just as death defying as the high wire and hotel rooftop acts, these jugglers make playing with fire and power tools look easy.