Fayetteville, West Virginia is home to the New River Gorge Bridge, the highest single-span arch bridge in the world. Every fall Fayetteville celebrates Bridge Day, which is your basic town fair and street festival, but with the added feature that the state closes the bridge to traffic for the day, so people can walk out on it and check out the view from 876 feet above the river.
Bridge Day is renowned among BASE jumpers--people who parachute-jump off of fixed structures (Buildings, Antennas, Spans, and Earth [i.e. a really high cliff] ). Several hundred folks each year make the Bridge Day pilgrimage in order to leap off the thing. In 1984 I attended Bridge Day with my grandmother. I'll never forget watching those men and women, one after another, diving off the railing into the void. As much as their daring, I remember their skill in steering their parachutes: almost every jumper hit the strip of sand, 20 feet wide or so, between the water and the trees.