Top 10 Things Not to Miss at Bridge Day
Here's what to make sure to fit into your perfect Bridge Day schedule:
1. WOAY Taste of Bridge Day
Sample all of the New River Gorge's finest flavors! The evening before the festival, all of the local favorite restaurants will be bringing their best to the table at Adventures on the Gorge, along the canyon rim (with a beautiful view of the bridge). Decadent desserts, savory treats and creative cuisines. Taste them all, and choose your favorite!
2. BASE Jumping
Just as soon as the gates open, the leaping begins! Hundreds of parachuters from across the globe come here to West Virginia just to take the leap 876 feet from the New River Gorge Bridge.
Watch them leap, from the step-offs to the backflips, and the parachutes unfurl. Count how many seconds each jumper takes in free fall before they open their chutes.
If you want to get the view from below, you can get a shuttle to the bottom! A Down Under Tour will give you a ride down and back up, plus they feed you lunch and give you a t-shirt.
BASE jumpers aren't the only ones taking the descent from the bridge! Teams of rappellers will also be climbing down from the catwalk. You can get some better views of their descent from alternative viewing spots or from below the bridge.
The pogo stunt team turns what most people see as a children's toy into a high-flying adventure. Thanks to their sponsor Crossroads Mall, they'll be back this year performing pogo stick stunt shows on the south side of the bridge at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., leaping up to 10 feet in the air for flips and tricks.
The parachutes will also be flying from above the bridge. The owner of Skydive New River Gorge will be swooping in on a plane ahead and jumping to unfurl a giant American flag in honor of our troops. The show starts at noon (as long as wind conditions are cooperating.)
You can take a tandem skydive over the gorge, too, at the Bridge Day Boogie. All weekend, Skydive NRG will have a PAC 750 plane to take multiple people up for a leap at a time.
6. Bridge Walk
Stroll the New River Gorge Bridge in a whole new way, harnessed into the catwalk that stretches across its underbelly. Cross right under the jump zone to get an up-close look at the leaps, and an amazing aerial view of the rappel teams below.
You can get into the Bridge Day action, too! Buy a pass to fly from the catwalk into the gorge below. You'll be harnessed into a zipline to whoosh over the canyon at high-speed.
The craftsmanship from WV's finest will be on display across the bridge, as well as amazing projects from local organizations. Among this year's booths, discover elegant Fenton glass, detailed wood carvings, fossils, leather goods ground corn meal, jewelry, local music, primitive country decor, handcrafted candles, homemade jellies… and so, so much more.
Many of the vendors also have drawings, freebies and contests. Sponsors always bring in fun activities and prizes, too.
For example, Subaru is engraving dog tags. (They're free, but Subaru is also accepting donations for WeLoveRivers.org to help protect West Virginia's rivers. And, every donation is doubly matched by Hometown Subaru and Subaru USA, tripling every dollar you give.) Spin the wheel to win more cool prizes from companies like Mountain Khaki and Pedco at the WeLoveRivers.org booth.
9. Chili Cook Off
Following Bridge Day, the town of Fayetteville lights everyone's taste buds with a chili cook off, and their feet with local "stompgrass" favorites, The Wild Rumpus. This year you can also pair your chili with some homemade cornbreads.
10. The New River Gorge
The gorge is a vast wonderland of exciting outdoor fun and quirky small-town charm. There's plenty to explore, especially on Bridge Day weekend. (For example, it's also Gauley season, so one of the world's Top 10 whitewater rafting rivers is running here in the gorge!) Make it a point to explore some of the other fun activities in the area.
If you really want to see it all, try to see how many of these 35 uniquely New River Gorge experiences you can fit in for Bridge Day's 35th anniversary.
How many of these will you be trying?