Area has a lot to gain from day of daredevils

Tightrope walker Rick Wallenda traveled to Marietta this week, scoping out the site of a planned walk across the Ohio River from Williamstown to the levee in Marietta.

He’s scheduled to join Robbie Knievel there Oct. 19 for a day of daredevil stunts.

While some in the community seem excited that performers of their caliber would be part of an event right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, we’ve also heard a lot of negativity surrounding the event, and we’re not sure why.

This is a community that typically supports festivals, concerts and family-friendly fun. That was really shown this July when river levels caused the cancellation of the races that are the highlight of the Riverfront Roar yet crowds still attended the associated events.

Sure, there might be additional city resources required during the event but that’s no different than any major function.

Should we no longer have the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival because more police are required and roads have to be closed?

We think if the planned event is held the benefits will far outweigh any drawbacks.

It could bring a great number of visitors to the area, who will book hotel rooms, eat at restaurants, shop, buy gas and visit other attractions. Many of those people who had never heard of Marietta before may then return in the future.

Even if the weather or some other factor leads to the event not coming to fruition, it could be a win for the city.

The promotion leading up to the visit from Wallenda and Knievel should mean people from outside the region and state are putting Marietta, Ohio, into a search engine and finding out where it is and what is there. That brings a great amount of visibility to the area that’s a plus no matter what happens in October.

We’d like to see more residents embrace the idea of this attraction happening here in Marietta. The way we see it, we have a lot to gain and not a lot to lose.