Fireworks not allowed at Mount Rushmore for 4th of July
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - 2020 was the first time in more than a decade that fireworks shot off over the Mount Rushmore National Monument.
The fourth of July event brought thousands to the Black Hills including then-president Donald Trump.
But this year’s Independence Day may not be as illuminated.
The South Dakota Tourism Department was denied permission to hold another fireworks show this year.
In a letter sent to the Department, the National Park Service (NPS) lists are a number of reasons they aren’t permitting fireworks to come back to Mount Rushmore in 2021.
The letter obtained by Dakota News Now from the NPS states “potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event.”
Opposition from the tribal communities of the area was also cited as another reason for not permitting the fireworks show.
Some South Dakotans we spoke with are divided on the cancellation.
“It’s outside so I don’t see the reason that you know it should be canceled, they should have it, it’s a huge deal fireworks over the presidents,” said Glenda LeBeaux, South Dakota resident.
Others say they understand the need for safety precautions.
“I think even though things are starting to a little bit back to normal in terms of COVID we still have to be extremely cautious going into the summer and large gatherings like that where people would come watch the fireworks even though it’s outside it’s still a bit dangerous going into summer,” said Rachel Speiser, another South Dakota resident.
Governor Noem had asked South Dakota’s delegation earlier this year to push for another fireworks show at Mount Rushmore.
A statement from her office Friday shows she hasn’t given up on that effort.
“Governor Noem will do everything in her ability to ensure that we can celebrate America’s birthday with fireworks at Mount Rushmore,” Ian Fury, Governor Noem’s communications director.
Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds along with Representative Dusty Johnson are also commenting on the cancellation, issuing a joint statement that reads:
“Let’s be clear, this decision is political, not evidence-based, President Biden just said himself that Americans can safely gather by July 4 – What’s changed in a day? Last year millions watched the celebration in awe, and it’s a shame the administration is denying Americans that opportunity this year.”
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