Bridge Day online

Visitors at the 40th anniversary of Bridge Day take a selfie on the New River Gorge Bridge. Once again this year, Covid-19 concerns have led the Bridge Day Commission to a decision to cancel the in-person event and move to a virtual Bridge Day. "We are celebrating our second Virtual Bridge Day on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.," said Becky Sullivan, executive director of the New River Gorge CVB/Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Bridge Day Commission. "Virtual Bridge Day celebrates our beloved event from the safety of your location on a traditional weekend. We always celebrate the third weekend in October. There are no in-person activities (this year). Everything will be conducted on Bridge Day's social media channels. This is a way for us to celebrate the event safely and keep the spirit of Bridge Day fresh in people's minds on the third weekend of October." Those taking part on the social media channels have chances to win special prize packages and relive virtually the fun of past celebrations.

Virtual Bridge Day, Take 2.

For the second consecutive year, Fayette County's Bridge Day celebration will be brought to the people via their digital devices instead of through anticipated live and in-person action. Memories made in past Bridge Days, as opposed to memories that would have been created this Saturday, will be the focus of Saturday's virtual celebration, which will run during the normal operating hours of Bridge Day.

"We are celebrating our second Virtual Bridge Day on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.," said Becky Sullivan, executive director of the New River Gorge CVB/Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Bridge Day Commission. "Virtual Bridge Day celebrates our beloved event from the safety of your location on a traditional weekend.

"We always celebrate the third weekend in October. There are no in-person activities (this year). Everything will be conducted on Bridge Day's social media channels. This is a way for us to celebrate the event safely and keep the spirit of Bridge Day fresh in people's minds on the third weekend of October."

Monster Energy is the presenting sponsor for Virtual Bridge Day. Many other area businesses have stepped in with prize support for the virtual event.

The physical incarnation of Bridge Day 2021 was canceled by the Bridge Day Commission on Sept. 29 due to uncertainty around the safety of mass gatherings. The previous week, BASE jumper representatives — expressing concerns on several fronts — indicated jumpers would not participate this year.

Sullivan reminds visitors still planning a trip to the area to not show up Saturday hoping to physically take part in Bridge Day. Despite the cancellation, she said the local chamber office is still fielding a fairly steady stream of calls checking to see if the event will be held.

"We need people to be aware that there will be no road closure, no jumping and no in-person activities," she said.

That said, Sullivan said she is aware that many visitors will continue with plans to be in the region and partake in the numerous outdoor activities southern West Virginia offers, including the final weekend of Gauley Season and viewing the fall colors. "I do expect a lot of visitors."

The Bridge Day Commission met in emergency session on Thursday to officially give the go-ahead for this Saturday's virtual event.

According to Sullivan, there will be five prize packages given away Saturday via interaction on Bridge Day Facebook posts only. One prize package is dedicated to the local community and will need to be picked up in Oak Hill. It includes a 50-inch TV, wedding package, gym membership, cleaning service gift certificates and more. She thanked the following for making the package possible: WVNS 59 News, Elevated Media, Active Fitness and Physical Therapy, Suddenly Spotless and The Station.

Individuals also have the chance to win one of four other prize packages that include goodies from Monster Energy, Water Stone Outdoors, Opossum Creek Retreat Cabin Rentals, The 304, Hilary Nicolau, Captain Thurmond's Challenge, Escape-A-Torium Escape Adventures, Arrowhead Bike Farm, ACE Adventure Resort, Cathedral Café (134 S. Court Street, Fayetteville), Adventures on the Gorge, Wild Art Wonderful Things, Wild Blue Adventure Company, Active Southern West Virginia and Bridgewalk.

Social media posts will include photos, videos, memories and interactive posts celebrating Bridge Day. Viewers can win prizes by interacting with the Facebook page in a positive manner, said Sullivan. Prize giveaways will occur at www.facebook.com/bridgedaywv.

The giveaway posts will start around 10 a.m. and run hourly. The virtual event will end at 3 p.m. Answers to the post in the comments will be an individual's chance to win the prize packages. Commenting will be open for 45 minutes and the winner will be announced shortly after that. Winners will be picked at random from the comments.

Prizes people can win during the day Saturday will include: Tours with Bridgewalk, overnight stays at Opossum Creek Retreat or Adventures on the Gorge, bike rental and dinner with Arrowhead Bike Farm, prizes from Monster Energy, experiences at Escape-A-Torium, waterpark passes for ACE, flight with Wild Blue Adventure, 50-inch TV courtesy of WVNS 59 News, a wedding package from Elevated Media, gym membership with Active Fitness, cleaning gift certificate from Suddenly Spotless, gifts from the Station, Cathedral Cafe, Water Stone Outdoors, Bridge Day merchandise, Active SWV 5K run or Captain Thurmond race entries, 304 or Wild Art Wonderful Things gift cards and more, Sullivan said.

Notes:

• Bridge Day® is a registered trademark of the New River Gorge Bridge Day Commission.

• There is still Bridge Day merchandise available, and it can be purchased at https://fayette-county-chamber-of-commerce.square.site/.

• The official Bridge Day shirt can be purchased through that same link or directly at https://mountainmindful.com/products/the-bridge-day-that-wasnt-2021-t-shirt.

• Prize giveaways will happen at www.facebook.com/bridgedaywv.

• The official Bridge Day 2021 poster designed by Carly Thaw can now be purchased online. To browse the online store for that and more Bridge Day merchandise, visit https://bit.ly/2YJjVvj.

• For more information, visit www.officialbridgeday.com or call 304-465-5617 or 800-927-0263.

Email: skeenan@register-herald.com or follow on Twitter @gb_scribe

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