Monday, October 13, 2008
What Is Bridge Day???
Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports event and the largest gathering of BASE jumpers in the world, held on the third Saturday in October every year in Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA.
450 BASE jumpers, hundreds of rappellers, and up to 200,000 spectators are expected to attend this year's Bridge Day on Saturday, October 18, 2008.
The New River Gorge Bridge, 876' tall and the world's second longest single arch bridge, is the launch point for at least six hours (9am-3pm EDT) of legal, safe BASE jumps.
Spectators are permitted to walk the length of the bridge and watch jumpers leap from the bridge railing, enjoy the fall foliage, or patronize hundreds of vendors who sell everything from handmade crafts to funnel cakes.
The New River Gorge Bridge is normally closed to foot traffic and stopping your vehicle on the bridge is prohibited.
After five daring parachutists were permitted to jump at the first Bridge Day back in 1980, it soon became apparent that watching the jumpers would become the major attraction. In the early 1980's, the crowds increased and hundreds of BASE jumpers flocked to the area to enjoy six short hours of legal BASE jumps.
Although 876 feet is extremely high it is a quick 8 seconds from the bridge to the water of the New River! Most will fall from the bridge for 3-4 seconds before deploying their parachute. Then they’ll spend the next 20-30 seconds floating down to the designated landing zone located at the water’s edge.
BASE Jumping is an acronym for the four types of fixed objects that are utilized for these foot-launched skydives: (B)uilding, (A)ntenna, (S)pan, and (E)arth. BASE jumpers first skydive hundreds of times from aircraft before attempting to BASE jump, which is undoubtedly the world's most extreme sport.
With nearly 1000 jumps made at Bridge Day each year since 1980, there have only been three fatalities.
In addition to the festival itself, there are many beautiful places to see and plenty of exciting things to do in the Fayetteville, WV area, including: mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and canoeing, to name just a few!
For all this info and more go to this great website: http://www.bridgeday.info/