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 Bridge Day 

On the third Saturday in October, thousands of visitors converge on the span of the New River Gorge Bridge, near Fayetteville, West Virginia (WV), to celebrate Bridge Day, an annual festival that commemorates the bridge's completion over the New River Gorge in 1978. On Bridge Day visitors may walk out onto the bridge and BASE jumpers are permitted to legally parachute off the bridge.

Ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of the New River Gorge Bridge in 1977. This celebration of the completion of the New River Gorge Bridge lead to the annual Bridge Day Festival, first observed on November 8, 1980.
Ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of the New River Gorge Bridge in 1977. This celebration of the completion of the New River Gorge Bridge lead to the annual Bridge Day Festival, first observed on November 8, 1980.

A crowd of 30,000 gathered for the dedication of the New River Gorge Bridge in 1977. Read more about the dedication of  the New River Gorge Bridge...
A crowd of 30,000 gathered for the dedication of the New River Gorge Bridge in 1977. Read more about the dedication of the New River Gorge Bridge...

Each year, the annual Bridge Day Festival brings thousands of visitors to the area. The event takes place at the expected height of fall color change.
Each year, the annual Bridge Day Festival brings thousands of visitors to the area. The event takes place at the expected height of fall color change.

On Bridge Day, BASE jumpers are permitted to legally parachute off the bridge.
On Bridge Day, BASE jumpers are permitted to legally parachute off the bridge.

As BASE jumpers leap from the bridge, more than 200 vendors provide delicious foods and fantastic entertainment for onlookers.
As BASE jumpers leap from the bridge, more than 200 vendors provide delicious foods and fantastic entertainment for onlookers.

BASE is an acronym for the four types of fixed objects from which they may leap -- buildings, antennas, spans, earth. Jumpers usually show up several days before the festival for gear checks and mandatory meetings.
BASE is an acronym for the four types of fixed objects from which they may leap -- buildings, antennas, spans, earth. Jumpers usually show up several days before the festival for gear checks and mandatory meetings.

Not just anyone can leap from the bridge: jumpers must register months in advance and must make have made a number of prior skydives or jumps.
Not just anyone can leap from the bridge: jumpers must register months in advance and must make have made a number of prior skydives or jumps.

About 300 BASE jumpers leap off the New River Gorge Bridge each Bridge Day, the only day that jumping from the bridge is permitted.
About 300 BASE jumpers leap off the New River Gorge Bridge each Bridge Day, the only day that jumping from the bridge is permitted.

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BASE jumpers parachute off the New River Gorge Bridge diving 876-feet into the New River Gorge below.
BASE jumpers parachute off the New River Gorge Bridge diving 876-feet into the New River Gorge below.

BASE jumpers land on the banks of New River at the bottom on the gorge.
BASE jumpers land on the banks of New River at the bottom on the gorge.

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Bridge_Day_p7164.jpg

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