Gov. Noem announces over 125 thousand entries for Mount Rushmore fireworks lottery
UPDATE: Over 125 thousand applications were entered for the Rushmore Fireworks lottery.
PIERRE, S.D. — In a Thursday morning press conference, Governor Kristi Noem revealed some of the details surrounding the July 3rd Independence Day fireworks show at Mount Rushmore, which President Donald Trump is expected to attend.
Along with a statement from South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen, Governor Noem laid out how South Dakota will “celebrate and have a little fun” for Independence Day.
Showcasing a state that Secretary Hagen describes as the “perfect destination for the American road trip”, the fireworks celebration will also include hoop dancers and Lakota storytellers sharing the state’s Native American culture, performances by the South Dakota State University Concert Choir and the United States Air Force Academy concert band, along with flyovers in partnership with the United States Air Force and Ellsworth Air Force Base.
To ensure a safe and successful event, attendance will be limited through an online lottery system to around 7,500 participants. Lottery ticketing for the event will be hosted by Recreation.gov.
The lottery will go live on Friday, June 5, at 8:00 a.m. MT, for people interested in applying to receive tickets for the event. It will be open until Monday, June 8, at 9:59 p.m. MT. Results from the lottery will be delivered by email on Friday, June 12.
South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration is a free event for people to enjoy. The only cost is the $1 lottery administration fee paid to Recreation.gov at the time of entering the lottery. There will be no parking fee on July 3 for lottery winners.
Each ticket includes up to six participants within the vehicle including the driver, or shuttle service to and from the event for a group of up to six participants. When applying for the lottery the total number of participants, up to 6, must be declared. Those awarded tickets will be limited to the number initially declared.
Secretary Hagen clarified that the 7,500 participant number had been settled on before the COVID-19 crisis, taking into account issues of crowd management and safety. In order to better manage the crowd while encouraging social distancing protocols, tickets will be randomly assigned into two zones. Zone One will be the amphitheater, will be right across Highway 244 in view of the monument.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial will be closed to the general public on July 3 and only ticket holders will be allowed on-site that day. Mount Rushmore will reopen at 5 a.m. on July 4. Visit the National Park Service’s Mount Rushmore website for more information regarding programming.