Bridge Day is held every third Saturday in October and is the largest official event dedicated to ski jumping. The holiday was organized for all fans and lovers of adrenaline, giving them the opportunity to watch breathtaking jumps or take part in the festival.
The base jumper festival has taken place since 1977 in Faithville, Fayette County, West Virginia and was first held to celebrate the completion of the bridge running through the New River Gorge. This bridge was closed to motorists, but open to pedestrians and around 100 people attended the event. By 1980, the holiday had grown significantly, attracting 40 thousand spectators and leading to the decision to host Bridge Day annually.
Since then, Bridge Day has been the only place where base jumpers are legally allowed to jump from the bridge over the New River, which has a gorge 876 feet deep. Despite the high risk of injury, hundreds of daredevils still take part in the festival.
- Skip Stanley, also known as the “Blue Bandit”, was the first bungee jumper at the festival in 1985.
- In 1992, Chris Allum from New Zealand set the world record for the longest jump – 823 feet.
- In 1993, Chris Allum and six friends set a new world record for the most massive bungee jump.
- Sadly, there have been three fatalities and one non-fatal accident on the bridge due to jumping.
- In the first case, one person drowned in the river due to the rescue boat being occupied by other jumpers, in the second, 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 but remained paralyzed.
How to take part
Before the celebration, decide which category of base-jumping fan you belong to. If you do not want to take part in this extreme form of entertainment, you can watch videos of professionals on YouTube or go to the festival as a spectator. If you consider yourself an extreme, you should not only be a spectator of the event, but take part actively. Remember to know all the safety precautions, attend a briefing, and check your equipment for integrity and serviceability before jumping from the bridge.
When is Bridge Day celebrated in 2023?
Bridge Day is observed on the third Saturday of October each year.