Bridge Day – The World's Most Unique FestivalOctober 5, 2011
One day every fall, the town of Fayetteville, for a mere 7 hours, becomes the largest populated town in WV. This is accomplished by a three-decade old event that originally was only supposed to be a ribbon cutting ceremony but instead became WV’s largest single day festival. Yes, you guessed it: Bridge Day.
Bridge Day occurs the third Saturday in October and it has since the very early 80’s. It coincides with the end of Gauley Season and what is typically the peak of the fall foliage display. Set against a backdrop of reds, yellows and orange, visitors to Bridge Day eat, drink and are merry while enjoying a beautiful fall stroll across one of the world’s largest bridges. Here’s a look at some of the things that make Bridge Day unique.
High-Flying Side Show
The New River Gorge Bridge is 876 feet tall, making it one of the tallest bridges on the planet. This appeals to one group of individuals much more than any other; B.A.S.E. jumpers. While nearly 100,000 people are walking across the Bridge, 400+ others are using this day to take advantage of one day of legal B.A.S.E. jumping.
B.A.S.E. is an acronym for the types of objects that this group of thrill seekers looks to jump off of; Building, Antennae, Span and Earth. The New River Gorge Bridge is a challenge for jumpers due to wind conditions and a river with rapids located at the bottom.
Bridge Day vendors are a big part of the action. Food, gadgets, clothing, and displays are all lined up along either side of the road leading to the Bridge. There have been some pretty unique items sold on the Bridge, including The New River “Pet Rock”. It was, well, a rock, supposedly from the New River with a little face painted on it. Did you buy one?
Bridge Day food is always eagerly anticipated by everyone. You’ll find all your typical festival food, from caramel apples to smoked turkey legs and our favorite, funnel cakes. There are some different options too, such as fajitas and vegetarian fare. Trust us, you won’t walk away hungry.
Gone By The Wayside
There are a lot of traditions that are part of Bridge Day. But there are some things that have happened in the past that you probably won’t see again:
- Bungee Jumping
- Marching Bands
- Traffic allowed in the south bound lanes
Bridge Day continues to evolve, but it will always remain one of the most exciting, unique festivals you’ll find anywhere in the world. And the best way to learn what Bridge Day is all about is to attend. See you there this year?
And, do you know why bands aren’t allowed to march on the Bridge anymore?