(CBS) – There was a band of motorcycles and a police escort for Clinton Shepherd Friday afternoon as he arrived at his home for the next 48 hours.
“I just want to get this over with. I’m ready to get started,” he said.
The Parks Operation Manager at Navy Pier hopes to get into the Guinness World Records book by riding the Ferris Wheel for two days.
“I’ve been getting my mind and body prepared to stay up the whole 48 hours,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd says he’s got quite the setup in Gondola No. 1.
“There’s a flat screen, an Xbox, a chandelier, pillows,” he said.
He plans to watch a few movies, play some games and talk to people via social media during his two days high atop Navy Pier. He said he decided to embark on the feat in honor of Armed Forces Day on Saturday May 18.
“My hope is to get a bunch of people to participate in it because the cause is the USO, the men and women, so that’s why I’m really doing it. Hopefully, everyone will come out and support that effort,” he said.
A brass band entertained the crowd as he jumped into his gondola Friday. The trumpet player says he will be playing Reveille at dawn each day to wake him up, and he’ll bang a gong when it’s dinner time.
The current record is 30 hours and 35 seconds. When he breaks that record, there will be a fireworks show to celebrate.
Shepherd, who has worked at Navy Pier for eight years, says he hopes to stay up the whole time. He gets bathroom breaks for five minutes each hour.
Chicago is the birthplace of the first Ferris Wheel, built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition.