FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) – This year is the 44th Annual Bridge Day — a festival that consists of many activities for adrenaline junkies, good food, and community. Although the fun is non-stop, some are concerned with the safety and security of such a large event.
Every year, residents of West Virginia and visitors from other states gather on the New River Gorge Bridge to enjoy the largest single day festival in West Virginia.
Festivities include base jumping, food vendors, and even a chili cook off.
Bridge Day is an event honoring the popularity and history of the New River Gorge Bridge.
Every day, thousands of cars pass over the bridge and witness the beautiful scenery of West Virginia but some may not know the history of the bridge itself.
Tim Naylor, Executive Assistant for the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, said the New River Gorge Bridge has a living history.
“Bridge Day started after the bridge was built in 1977. They did a big celebration where they walked across the bridge to kind of honor it. Since then, it has kind of blown up into what it is today with over 200 vendors, 350 base jumpers jumping off the bridge, and 25 rappelers, rappelling from underneath,” said Naylor.
With thousands of people in attendance, some are concerned with the safety and security of the festival.
There are restrictions in place for the festival.
Some of these include restrictions on alcohol, fireworks, firearms, and drones.
Shannon Morris, Chief Deputy for Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, says planning for this event starts early.
“There’s months of planning, monthly meetings, basically year-round we all meet with the Bridge Day committee, local law enforcement, state law enforcement, federal law enforcement. It’s a never ending process from one bridge day to another. We meet all throughout the year and discuss what are plan is to keep everyone safe so they have a good time,” said Morris.
With thousands of people attending Bridge Day, safety and security is watched closely so everyone in attendance can enjoy the historic New River Gorge Bridge.