Postal Updates

Parachuting postmark issued for West Virginia festival

May 3, 2021, 1 AM
On Bridge Day, spectators gather to watch hundreds of jumpers parachute 876 feet into West Virginia’s New River Gorge.

By Molly Goad

A pictorial postmark has been issued to commemorate one of the world’s largest extreme sports events.

The annual New River Gorge Bridge Day festival in Fayetteville, W.Va., is a daredevil’s Super Bowl. On this day, BASE jumpers have access to the magnificent bridge as thousands of spectators watch their descent into the river.

BASE jumping is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff.

Opened and dedicated on Oct. 22, 1977, the steel arch bridge over the New River Gorge in the Appalachian Mountains is the third highest bridge in the United States, at 876 feet high. The structure is 3,030 feet long and 70 feet wide. It was featured on a $4.95 Priority Mail stamp issued April 11, 2011 (Scott 4511).

Bridge Day began in 1980 when parachutists jumped from a plane onto the bridge, and then from the bridge into the river. Today, people gather on the bridge to watch hundreds of jumpers the third Saturday in October — the one time the bridge is open to pedestrians.

To obtain the postmark, address your request to:

BRIDGE DAY Station, Postmaster, Box 9998, Fayetteville, WV 25840-9998, Oct. 20.

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