TWIN FALLS • The 2015 Perrine Bridge Festival isn’t just about BASE jumpers.
The jumpers will be at Saturday’s event, taking the plunge from the iconic structure spanning the Snake River Canyon, but other activities include fun runs and a run-bike-paddle fitness challenge.
“There will be a huge variety of things for kids and adults of all abilities,” said event organizer Rachelle Williams. BASE jumping will start at 8 a.m. and end at noon. Among the perks they will get for participating are boat and shuttle rides to get them to the canyon rim more quickly after completing a jump.
The run-bike-paddle fitness challenge combines a 5K run, an 11-mile bike ride and one-mile kayak race. Participants can do the challenge individually or as a team.
“Employees from different companies sometimes challenge each other,” Williams said. This year, St. Luke’s employees from both the Twin Falls and Wood River medical centers have entered a combined 17 teams. There will likely be space for people wanting to sign up the morning of the event but they would need to have their own kayak.
Other events include a superhero fun run/walk for children who will take part dressed as a superhero, and they will get “superhero training” provided by Anytime Fitness. That event starts at 10:30 a.m. with registration starting at 10 a.m. A separate 5K run is also planned.
New this year is a Burpees for Bikes event, in which participants will see how quickly they can do 68 burpees, also known as squat thrusts, involving starting in a standing position, doing a pushup, then jumping back up.
“They are a good measure of fitness,” said bridge festival volunteer Nestor Lopez. The 68 burpees will honor Lopez’s daughter, who spent 68 days in a neonatal care unit and who has cerebral palsy. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and registration costs $20 for adults and $10 for teenagers. Prizes will be awarded in various divisions.
Money from the burpees event will go toward a newly formed chapter of AmTryke, which provides therapeutic tricycles to children with special needs who are unable to operate a traditional bicycle.
Other proceeds go to the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Health Foundation Children with Special Needs Fund, which assists special needs children.
The Perrine Bridge Festival started in 2005 as a way to raise awareness and money for children in the Magic Valley who have special needs. It was initially named Parachutes for Kids, and since then organizers have raised more than $255,000. The festival is the only annual fundraiser for the fund that is through the St. Luke’s Health Foundation.
Nikki and Miles Daisher founded the festival 11 years ago. Miles Daisher is a nationally recognized BASE jumper and brought national attention to BASE jumping and Twin Falls by setting a world record.
In 2005, Miles jumped from the Perrine Bridge 57 times in less than 24 hours, hiking out of the Snake River Canyon each time, approximately the equivalent distance as hiking Mt. Everest. Together, Nikki and Miles created Parachutes for Kids in 2005 by collecting pledges for each jump that Miles made in that 24-hour period.
The following year they created the Perrine Bridge Festival and Parachutes for Kids became a BASE jumping exhibition and one event among many activities.
The fundraiser has helped numerous children in areas including physical therapy, speech therapy, wheelchair lifts, helmets and hearing aid replacements.