Pandemic forces cancellation of West Virginia’s Bridge Day

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — An annual bridge-jumping event in southern West Virginia has been canceled.

The Bridge Day Commission announced Wednesday that the Oct. 17 event was called off due to uncertainty about the safety of mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of BASE jumpers flock to Fayetteville on the third Saturday of each year, the only day that it’s legal to jump off the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge.

“We know that this is an enormous disappointment, but this is not a decision that has been taken lightly,” said Bridge Day Commission chairwoman Becky Sullivan.

Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest single-day festival. About 100,000 people attend Bridge Day each year. The 3,030-foot-long bridge opened to traffic in October 1977.