Little Known Truths in Bridge Day History

Bridge Day started as a reception. When the Bridge first opened, Senator Jay Rockefeller (then Governor of West Virginia) wanted to host a reception to celebrate this great feat. It was 1977, and while the gathering wasn’t officially called 'Bridge Day', it was the first official closing of lanes to traffic and the first opportunity to walk out on the bridge.

New River Gorge Bridge

Bridge Day was once cancelled.

After the events of September 11, the 2001 event – just weeks later – was too much of a risk and a potential target. While many were disappointed, it was in the best interest of the attendees and all involved.

40,000 people attended the first official Bridge Day.

The Chamber of Commerce expected about 8,000 people and were shocked but pleased by the turnout.  The year was 1980 and all walkers that completed a full trip across the Bridge also received a certificate.

Bridge Day was twice extended.

In 2008, WV Senator Joe Manchin (then Governor of West Virginia) extended Bridge Day, just because he could.  Thanks Joe!  Then, in 2010, Governor Manchin extended Bridge Day for 30 minutes since the morning jumps were plagued by fog.

What cool things will happen at the 2011 Bridge Day?  You may have to be there to find out. It’s only about 100 days away!