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Bridge Day: America’s Premier BASE-Jumping Event

by Akhil Kalepu

Sep 7, 2014

New River Gorge Bridge © banksrut | iStock

Adventure
© B. Ferguson 1 | Bridge Day

© B. Ferguson 1 | Bridge Day

Building; antenna; span; earth. The four categories of fixed objects which are used for BASE-jumping, the freefalling activity that became an extreme sports
phenomenon during the 80s. Unfortunately, many of these locations either fall into a legal gray area or are outright banned. The U.S. National Park System, for example, does not allow BASE-jumping in any of their parks… but there is at least one exception.

 

For one day a year, the New River Gorge Bridge is closed to traffic and people are allowed to take the ultimate plunge into the river below as crowds of up to
80,000 watch. Bridge Day has been a yearly tradition of Fayetteville, West Virginia, going on more than 30 years and coming back Oct. 18, 2014. The bridge stands at 876 feet tall, making it the third highest in the United States. More than 800 jumps were made last year with participants BASE-jumping from the span and getting launched over by a human catapult. There are also some skydivers who parachuted in from a plane flying above.

 

While only licensed BASE jumpers can make jumps, it is certainly a sight to see, watching people plunge 800 feet into a gorge. For those adverse to a rush of adrenaline, Fayetteville hosts a number of festivals for the weekend. Fayette County hosts its annual Bridge Day Car Show, while downtown Fayetteville features musical performances, street vendors and a chili cook-off. Learn more about the event at http://officialbridgeday.com/.

 

 

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