Officials preparing for Mt. Rushmore fireworks celebration

July 3 is less than one week away and with that a week to prepare and set up for a presidential visit on July 3 for a fireworks celebration, the first to be held since 2009.

Fireworks equipment, ticket collection, and security are all elements in play during the fireworks planning.

But even with over 7,000 people expected to visit at one time, the National Parks Service is ready.

“Well, any time there’s a big event going on there’s a lot of background to it,” said Maureen McGee-Ballinger, the Chief Interpretation of Education at Mt. Rushmore. “Out here at Mt. Rushmore it’s a special day, every day. We prepare for our visitors every single day.”

The Department of Tourism and National Parks Service are also working with the South Dakota Department of Health and National Weather Service to provide a safe event. But the decision to go or not go will come from the departments in charge.

“That’s not a decision I would make or the state would make, it would be a decision that that these group of folks that have been working on this project and safety and environmental concerns over the last year and a half,” said Gov. Noem.

And if there are protests?

“We want this to be a safe, seamless, visit,” said McGee-Ballinger. “We don’t want anybody saying they are worried about security. Everyone will be secure and taken care of.”

Fireworks are tentatively set to start at 9:15 p.m. on Friday, June 3.

National Parks Service says the park will be closed to the general public starting midnight, same day and reopen by 3 p.m.

Only visitors with tickets will be allowed in as crews will be finishing the final preparations and they can expect extra security upon entering.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News