5 Must-Do Activities For Bridge Day

Okay, when you come to Bridge Day in West Virginia, there are certain things that you absolutely have to do. One of those is NOT "jump off the bridge".  Just sayin'.  You have to be qualified to jump, first of all, and the vast majority of folks that come for bridge day are spectators (myself included).

ceviche & tropical fruit shorbread from Rezan's at the Taste Of Bridge Day

So we can go ahead and rule that out.  Also, you don't have to rappel off the bridge.  Same thing goes here- you have to be qualified to do it, which rules most of us out.

But that's only two things.  To use a scientific measurement, there are literally a whole bunch of other things to do.

Here are the 5 that I'm thinking are the full-on, don't-miss, must-do, call-your-mom-about, been-there-got-the-T-shirt Bridge Day activities to put on your list:

-Taste Of Bridge Day Okay, you know there's going to be some food at any place that has an event called "Taste-Of-Whatever".  But here's the thing:  this food is awesome.  Remember your favorite meal ever in your life?  Put that memory on steroids and place it next to one of the most beautiful views in the world, and that's pretty much what you're looking at here.  Taste Of Bridge Day is the Friday night before the actual Bridge Day festivities, so make sure you come early.

-Watch The Flags Go Up You have to get to the event early if you'd like to see it, and you would.  Like to see it, that is.  Seeing Old Glory, the WV state flag, and the US Park Service flag (a new addition last year) ascend up the entire length of space between the ground and the bridge is one of the most inspiring, patriotic sights you'll ever see.  Be at the landing zone for the best view.

-Enjoy The Show Get as many angles as you can.  On the bridge is cool.  At the landing zone next to the river is cooler.  There are also some other spots around the rim of the gorge, like Long Point.  Jumpers leap from the bridge all day long, and rappellers slide up and down seemingly endless ropes all day long, too.  It's one of the world's great photo ops, so make sure you have plenty of film in your camera.  Wait, what's "film"?

-Check Out The Vendors There's only one place in the world where you can see a guy carve a wood duck with a chainsaw, buy a homemade quilt with a BASE jumper on it, and sign up for skydiving lessons within 100 yards of each other.  The sides of the bridge are covered with vendors from around the world, if you count the US as the world, and a walk through is definitely on the to-do list.  Also, you must eat a funnel cake (Fried oreos or elephant ears are also acceptable [barely]).

-Go To The Chili Cookoff When the jumping ends, the cookoff begins.  Right on the steps of the historic courthouse in downtown Fayetteville, you'll find the best chili this side of wherever was formerly known for having the best chili.  Brought to you by the businesses and restaurants of the New River Gorge and the Fayetteville CVB, the chili cookoff is a great way to get to know our little (awesome) town.  Also, there's cornbread.  And craft beer.

Okay, y'all.  Let me have it:  What did I miss?