Over the next 30 minutes on a hot, summer Sunday night, a few hundred people will watch him juggle fire, tell jokes and pique the crowd's interest about the promised motorcycle trick.
"I'm going to light some stuff on fire and try to attract some people over here," Free says as he dunks the torches in the lighter fluid. "Bigger flames mean bigger excitement."
Next thing you know, you've got a guy juggling flames in the middle of a public sidewalk as curious onlookers slowly surround him.
True to his word, after 20 minutes of juggling and joking, Free directs his crowd's attention to the rooftops of Victoria Avenue. Enrique Valencia, a 29-year-old daredevil from Texas, and his mother Lynn, are readying themselves for the Highwire Sky Cycle.
Valencia hops onto a silver Honda Nighthawk motorcycle on the roof of the Louis Tussaud's Waxworks museum. It looks like a regular, small bike - except there are no tires. The rims of the wheels sit right on the wire the way a train's wheels sit on a rail. And, of course, his mother is sitting on a trapeze that dangles from the motorcycle.
It only takes a few seconds to zip from the roof of Tussaud's to the roof the nearby Days Inn hotel - nearly a city block. So Valencia backs up his motorcycle and does it again. And again. He stops his bike, some 70 feet above the street so his mother can dangle from the trapeze. She puts a strap around her head, attaches it to the trapeze, then twirls like a figure skater to the delight and applause of the crowd below.
It's not the kind of thing you see every day. The whole spectacle is part of the Summer of Thrills at Niagara Falls event, starring Valencia and his mother doing the Sky Cycle act or Valencia performing on the Wheel of Fate on the roof of the Imperial Hotel. The Wheel of Fate kind of looks like a human-sized hamster wheel on top of a hotel. Valencia runs on the inside and outside of the wheel while it rotates.
There are two different shows along Victoria Avenue, Free explains. At 4 and 8 p.m., Valencia does the Highwire Sky Cycle north of Clifton Hill, between the Tussaud's wax museum and the Days Inn. At 2 and 6 p.m., Valencia does the Wheel of Fate on the roof of the Imperial Hotel, south of Clifton Hill. "It's celebrating the daredevil tradition of Niagara," Free said. "It'll be happening all summer."