FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Bridge Day is still set for Oct. 16, but BASE-jumping is cancelled.
The Bridge Day Commission met Wednesday afternoon at the Fayetteville Town Hall to discuss this year’s upcoming Bridge Day. It was decided last week that the annual festival would return for 2021, after being canceled the year prior due to COVID-19. The commission voted 4-2 on that decision.
This week’s meeting was meant to go over basic updates and discuss any new changes that would be made to Bridge Day.
The largest change that was made at the meeting was the decision to cancel BASE-jumping at Bridge Day.
The BASE-Jump Coordinator for Bridge Day Marcus Ellison made the call. He says the decision was made largely because of safety reasons.
Injuries from BASE-jumpers are not uncommon during Bridge Day, and Ellison believes the strain on the local hospitals would cause the jumpers to be in a bad situation if any of them were hurt.
“Ultimately the safety and wellbeing of my jumpers is the number one priority,” Ellison said.”
Fayette County Health Department Administrator Teri Harlan attended the meeting, and said the health department believes the region is in or near the peak for COVID-19 cases.
They do not anticipate the strain on medical services to go away any time soon.
The President of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and Bridge Day Commission Chair Becky Sullivan says that all base-jumpers who had already registered will receive a refund from the Chamber of Commerce.
Sullivan says she believes the decisions made were the right move.
“I am devastated to do this,” Sullivan said. “I don’t like the decisions that are being made, but I know they’re right.”
Another issue that came up at the meeting was the lack of bus drivers for transportation. The commission says they needed to have 31 drivers to meet the full demand, but they only have 19.
These issues, combined with the COVID-19 concerns and the cancelation of base-jumping, led to some members believing that a revote on Bridge Day would be needed.
A motion was made to have another vote next week, and a majority of members were in favor of having that revote.
As of now, that revote on whether Bridge Day will happen is scheduled for the next meeting of the Bridge Day Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 29.