Want to BASE Jump from a bridge in the Nation’s Newest National Park?
West Virginia Tourism hosting contest to give one thrill-seeker the opportunity of a lifetime
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Tourism today announced a contest to award one thrill-seeker the opportunity to tandem BASE jump from the New River Gorge Bridge this fall. The winner of the contest will receive a free trip to West Virginia and the opportunity of a lifetime as a part of Bridge Day festivities in the nation’s newest national park. Daredevils from all over the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to sign up for the chance to win at wvtourism.com/contest/.
Each year, the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve hosts Bridge Day, the nation’s premier extreme sports event, where nearly 150,000 spectators watch as 350 BASE jumpers parachute 876 feet into the Gorge’s stunning fall colors. Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest single-day festival and one of the largest extreme sports events in the world. Held annually on the third Saturday in October on the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County, this is the only day each year that spectators can walk across the fifth-longest steel-arch bridge in the world as daredevils take the plunge into one of the oldest rivers in the world and an area recognized by TIME as One of the World’s Greatest Places.
“Bridge Day is one of the world’s top extreme-sports events, and we are thrilled to offer one lucky daredevil the opportunity to join us and literally fly with some of the world’s most spectacular fall foliage as a backdrop,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Whether you’re adventurous enough to parachute nearly 900 feet or you’d prefer a nice casual stroll across the bridge to soak in the fall colors while enjoying the festivities, Bridge Day is an experience you’ll never forget.”
Last year, 350 BASE jumpers from 39 states and four countries took part in this event. Some are experienced jumpers who leap solo, while others are new to the sport and go tandem with an experienced jumper. Much like a tandem skydive, jumpers are harnessed to the experienced Tandem BASE instructor.
The winner of the contest will jump with Sean Chuma, who has completed more BASE jumps than anyone else in the world. Chuma has over 4,000 skydives and 7,400 BASE jumps, and also runs a world-renowned school, called I-D BASE, that teaches experienced skydivers how to BASE jump.
For festival-goers, the day is filled with excitement, delicious bites from local food vendors and the opportunity to walk the catwalk underneath the New River Gorge Bridge or zipline off it. Watching the jumpers is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some of the BASE jumpers make the jump even more exciting by being launched out of the “human catapult” while wearing flashy costumes. All the while, rappellers ascend and descend from the catwalk.
How to Enter & Win
To enter the contest, go to wvtourism.com/contest/, fill out the form and answer the written questions, then click submit. Entries must be made by Friday, September 30. One winner will be selected based on their interest and excitement for Bridge Day. Entries will be reviewed and judged by a committee.
One winner will be notified two weeks prior to the travel date to West Virginia–Thursday, October 5. Winning participant will be doing a tandem jump with an experienced, professional BASE jumper. Winner must attend mandatory safety briefing on Friday, October 20 in Fayetteville in order to move forward with the tandem jump. Failure to attend will result in disqualification from the giveaway.
About New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
Home to more than 70,000 acres of public lands, this park has been a hallowed spot for locals for generations. The recent designation as the nation’s newest national park invites travelers, like you, to visit, explore and discover your own slice of heaven.
Easily accessible by Route 19 and I-64, the New River Gorge is one of West Virginia’s most photographed areas. The iconic steel arch bridge was once the longest in the world and welcomes travelers to this cherished region. Widely known as the second oldest river in the world, the New River cuts through extensive geological formations that make way for diverse flora and fauna. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons call this park home, and you’ll often spot a few along your travels. Hiking trails here take you to spectacular overlooks and through remnants of old coal mining towns.
To access hi-resolution images & b-roll, click here.
Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism
This post was last updated on September 5, 2023