Bridge Day is held every third Saturday in October. This is the largest official event dedicated to ski jumping. The holiday was organized for all fans and lovers of adrenaline, on this day they can watch breathtaking jumps or participate in the festival.
The base jumper festival has existed since 1977 and is held in Faithville, Fayette County, West Virginia. The first event was held on the occasion of the completion of the construction of the bridge that runs through the New River Gorge. On that day, all four lanes of the new bridge were closed to motorists, but opened to pedestrians, and about 100 people attended the festival. In 1980, the holiday gathered a little less – 40 thousand spectators, but it was decided to hold Bridge Day annually.
It is only on this holiday that base jumpers are legally allowed to jump from the bridge over the New River, where the gorge is 876 feet deep. The fact is that the US National Park System has banned ski jumping in this place because of the high risk of injury. However, fears and fears do not frighten hundreds of daredevils who participate in the festival.
- the first bungee jumper is considered to be stuntman Skip Stanley (aka the “Blue Bandit”), he jumped from a bridge over the New River during the festival in 1985;
- in 1992, Chris Allum from New Zealand bungee jumped and set the world record for the longest jump – 823 feet;
- in 1993, Chris Allum, along with six friends, set a new world record for the most massive bungee jump;
- on the bridge, a total of three people died due to jumping and one non-fatal accident occurred: in the first case, one person drowned in the river due to the fact that the rescue boat was occupied by other jumpers, in the second case, the jumper used unsuitable equipment, in the third, a person did not have time to open the parachute in time, and the fourth person survived when he could not open the equipment in time, but remained paralyzed.
How to celebrate
Before the celebration, you should decide which category of base jumping fans you belong to. If you do not want to participate in this extreme form of entertainment in person, then you can watch videos of professionals on YouTube or go to the festival to the bridge over the New Rivers as a spectator. If you consider yourself an extreme, then you should not only be a spectator of the event, but also its active participant. In this case, do not forget that before jumping from the bridge, you need to perfectly know all the safety precautions, go through a briefing and check the jumping equipment well for integrity and serviceability.
When is Bridge Day celebrated in 2022?
Bridge Day is observed on the third Saturday of October each year.