Parachutists to gather in West Virginia for Bridge Day

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — Thrillseekers from across the globe are converging on West Virginia for an annual bridge-jumping event.

Saturday’s Bridge Day festival in Fayetteville is being held for the 38th year. It is the one day a year that it’s legal to jump off the 876-foot high span across the New River Gorge.

Hundreds of BASE-jumping parachutists make the annual leap off the bridge. The acronym BASE stands for the places from which jumpers usually leap: buildings, antennae, spans and earth.

More than 80,000 people are expected to walk across the bridge. Rappellers also will make their way from a cat walk under the bridge to the river below. Also available to anyone for $159 will be an 800-foot-long high line slide that drops 300 vertical feet.

The 3,030-foot-long bridge opened to traffic in October 1977.


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