4th of July Mount Rushmore event underway
MOUNT RUSHMORE, S.D. — We now have a better idea of how things will work when fireworks go off at Mount Rushmore on July 3 with President Trump planning to be in attendance.
Governor Kristi Noem revealed that a randomized lottery system will be used to distribute 7,500 tickets. Entries cost $1 each online and will open Friday, June 5, at 8 A.M. and close at midnight on Monday, June 8. Officials plan to split the crowd into two zones; an amphitheater zone and a parking lot area across HWY-244.
“For those who don’t have a direct view of the amphitheater, we are working now to provide jumbo screens and audio as well so they can actually see the program,” says South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen.
Despite what may be a large influx of visitors from outside of the state, the Governor has no intention on changing modeling based on COVID-19. However, she does ask that potential attendees to use their best judgment. “We did have a plan originally of social distancing, we do not anticipate doing any social distancing activities during the celebration,” says Noem. “What I’m gonna ask people to continue to do, is if you’re sick, stay home. If you’re the vulnerable population and you’re worried about the virus, then you should stay home.”
Gov. Noem is aware of the current climate across the nation and hopes that the focus of the day will be to celebrate America’s independence.
“Free speech is a fundamental right, and peaceful protests, I have no problem with,” says Noem. “The problem that we’ve seen in recent days across the country, is the violence, and that is unacceptable. So, I expect the folks that will come to Mount Rushmore will come to celebrate our independence, what makes America special, and be grateful that the President made the trip to come be a part of the program.”
There will be performances from Lakota storytellers and dancers, as well as the South Dakota State University Concert Choir, the United States Air Force Academy Concert Band and others. In years past, the event also included B-1 flyovers in partnership with the United States Air Force and Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Details about the Mount Rushmore fireworks celebration, including how to attend, and answers to other FAQs can be found here.