Did you know that Bridge Day has a queen? This year’s reigning monarch is none other than Stormy Parsons.
There are lots of pageants, but only one person can represent the world’s largest BASE jumping festival. Stormy Parsons is thrilled to earn the title. As a proud Fayetteville resident, she knows the value of West Virginia’s standout festival.
“Living so close to the New River Gorge Bridge, you [sometimes] take for granted how amazing it is,” she explains. “Bridge Day focuses our attention and presents a great opportunity to appreciate how important the bridge is to our state.”
She treasures the festival’s eccentricity. It’s unlike anything else. That was driven home to her last year, when Parsons got to stand by the landing zone.
“It was pretty amazing to get a different perspective of the jumpers,” she says. “It really brought it full circle to be able to not only see them jump and watch them from up top, but also to watch them come down and see how they land.”
As a key representative, Parsons is responsible for drumming up enthusiasm for the festival. That’s not a problem for her. Brimming with energy and can-do spirit, she loves telling folks about all the BASE jumpers, rappellers and characters that make up Bridge Day. “Seeing people come from all over the world and get excited by this experience,” is Parson’s chief pleasure.
But nothing makes Mrs. Bridge Day happier than interacting with children.
“Hands down, the kids’ reactions, especially when they have my crown on, is what I like most,” she shares. “Although, the kettle corn is a close second!”
Mrs. Bridge Day’s recommendations
Haven’t decided about visiting? Parsons encourages you to mark October 21 on your calendar.
“Why should you visit? All kinds of reasons!” Mrs. Bridge Day enthuses. “First, this is the only time you can walk on top of the bridge (although, you can walk on the catwalk with Bridge Walk all year round). You can [also] view the gorge from a unique perspective, which is breathtakingly beautiful.”
She also points out that West Virginia’s autumn weather makes things even better. The fall foliage is simply dazzling, especially from 876 feet high. Work up an appetite in the crisp air, then grab a bite from street vendors!
“You should probably bring a long-sleeve shirt just in case the West Virginia fall weather is cool that day,” she adds.
But if you do nothing else, Parsons encourages everyone to walk the 3,030-foot-long bridge. It’s an opportunity that happens just once a year, after all.
“Even if you are afraid of heights, look over the edge at least once!” she implores.
Keep your eyes peeled for Mrs. Bridge Day on Oct. 21. Who knows, maybe you can wear her crown. Who or what do you hope to see on Bridge Day?