Contrary to its name, Bridge Day is not actually a celebration of bridges themselves, but a celebration instead of the world of BASE jumpers. These adrenaline junkies engage in jumping from Buildings, Antenna’s, Spans (The aforementioned bridges), and Earth (cliff jumping), and Bridge Day was organized to create a formal event for all of them, and to recognize these daredevils.
History of Bridge Day
Held on the third Saturday in October, Bridge Day is the largest formalized jumping event into the world. Hundreds of BASE jumpers have been gathering every year since 1980 to participate in this extreme sport. Utilizing parachutes or wingsuits, this sport has been gathering a respectable following for years, even though it is currently still considered an extreme sport.
Prohibited in some areas, Bridge Day is both a celebration of the sport itself, as well as a push for legitimacy amongst its adherents. When BASE jumpers have completed a jump from at least one of each of the four categories, they’re awarded a BASE number.
The first to complete this was Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield (cautious parents, this may be a warning against naming your children Phil), and are therefore noted as BASE #1 and BASE #2. As the BASE numbers grew, a separate category was awarded for those completing night-time jumps, and thus was born Night BASE #1, first won by Phil Mayfield, and followed again by Phil Smith.
Parachute attempts have come and gone since early in the history of science, initially recorded as having been done by Faust Vrancic. But all of these were solitary events. It wasn’t until 1978 that parachuting began taking off as a hobby. Since then it has become prominent in action films and other cinema.
How to celebrate Bridge Day
For those who enjoy a good show, you can attend one of the many events around the world celebrating Bridge Day. There can’t be anything more fun and entertaining than watching daredevils plummet from hundreds of feet to descend to earth like gentle leaves or, in the case of wingsuits, diving raptor birds.
If you’re particularly daring, you can take this as your opportunity to start participating in the event yourself. BASE jumping is a particularly dangerous hobby, so you’re going to want to make sure you find yourself a trainer and a group to educate you on safe practices and ensure that I’ts legal where you are.
Sometimes you just need to set yourself free… from the earth and everything else for a few minutes.