Bridge Day Behind The Scenes: The Rotary Club
Two groups that have an important behind-the-scenes role with Bridge Day are the Oak Hill and Fayetteville Rotary Clubs. The Oak Hill Rotary Club originally worked with Bridge Day beginning in 2001, and in 2005 the Fayetteville Club came on board as well. The Oak Hill and Fayetteville Clubs each have about 12 members, and they work tirelessly to help the club meet its goals. Rotary International service projects include helping disaster victims, clean water efforts, education projects and their largest project, eradicating polio worldwide.
What Does Rotary Do At Bridge Day?
Rotary is responsible for the transportation shuttles from the parking areas to the Bridge. They “man” each of the parking pick-up points, managing the flow of visitors. They inform riders of the shuttle system, collect shuttle fees, and review Bridge Day guidelines. Rotary has been performing this service since 2004.
Taste of Bridge Day
The Rotary Club is responsible for one of everyone's favorite events during Bridge Day weekend - the Taste of Bridge Day. Staged at Smokey's on the Gorge on Friday, the Taste incorporates food offerings from many local and state eateries.
Taste of Bridge Day showcases amazing area restaurants and kicks off Bridge Day weekend with a bang. The Rotary passes out awards at the end of the event, including Best Appetizer, Best Entree, and People's Choice. This gives the winners bragging rights for a year and fosters some friendly competition for the next Taste.
Restaurants must register and pay a participation fee, and they share a portion of their event earnings with the Rotary. Taste of Bridge Day was first held in 2001 as a collaboration between Oak Hill Rotary and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. The Rotary Club became the sole host of Taste in 2006 and has been joined every year since then by WOAY, the lead sponsor.
The work that Rotary does with Bridge Day allows them to fund other community programs. Just another reason why Bridge Day is such an important event!