Organization invites students to participate in Bridge Day


Phuong Anh Do

The Bridges International Marshall University group attends Bridge Day Oct. 19.

The Bridges International Marshall University group provided students the opportunity to travel to the New River Gorge Bridge and attend Bridge Day, Saturday, Oct. 19 in Fayetteville, West Virginia.

The event, which marked the 40th anniversary of Bridge Day, was similar to a one-day holiday as people from across the country and throughout the world gathered together in Fayetteville. 

“This is my first time to attend Bridge Day,” Riya Patel, a student originally from India and currently attending Marshall, said. “This is a very good place. I’ve never seen so many people like this in West Virginia. I also saw people paragliding, it’s really fun. Personally, I never saw anything like that.”

Bridge Day, which is one of the traditional festivals in Fayetteville, West Virginia, takes place every third Saturday in October. It is the only day of the year where it is legal to jump off the 876-foot high bridge. For some American and international students, the event was the first time that they saw an extreme sport activity.

Marrion Kay, a Marshall student from Kenya, said the moment he saw the bridge, he saw a potential future opportunity for his country.

“I don’t think in Kenya we have such tall bridge,” Kay said. “It’s like a challenge, too. It’s a good thing that we study in the U.S., we look at these things and we go back to our home country, and maybe we will benchmark it.”

Starliner Canterbury, a member of Bridges International Marshall University organization, said the goal of the trip is to help students, especially international students, experience the spirit of the Mountain State. 

“We just want international students to have the spirit,” Canterbury said. “Because most of the students here, they come to Marshall, they just go from INTO to their houses and do homework, and they don’t have any means of transportation, so basically just stay in Huntington. The trip helps them expand their view, to see how wild and wonderful West Virginia is.”

The trip included a free dinner provided by community and church members for the international students, according to Canterbury. 

“After a long day of walking, we have dinner together and gather around a bonfire,” Canterbury said. “We have Myra, Meredith, along with the church, they provided us dinner for over 30 people.” 

Patel said she used the opportunity to try new foods. 

“I don’t have any American friends, I do have my classmates, but I’ve never been to any native friends’ houses.” Patel said. “This is my first time to have dinner at an American family. I’m excited to spend some time with them. I can try some local foods, too.”

Students looking for more information on the Bridges International Marshall University organization and its upcoming events may follow the organization’s Facebook page.

Phuong Anh Do can be contacted at [email protected]