Fireworks show at Mount Rushmore won't require liability waiver
State officials say participants at the upcoming fireworks show at Mount Rushmore will not be required to sign a COVID-19 liability waiver.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at the July 3rd event, which is expected to draw thousands of spectators. Some have
that the coronavirus could potentially be spread during the event.
Another upcoming event featuring Trump - a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla - requires attendees to
protecting the campaign from potential lawsuits over COVID-19 exposure. However, there is a major distinction between the events - the Oklahoma rally is a campaign event, whereas the Mount Rushmore show is a state-sponsored 4th of July celebration.
"Our expectation is that ticket holders take personal responsibility seriously when attending this event," Department of Tourism spokesperson Katlyn Richter told Dakota News Now, via a statement.
Gov. Kristi Noem has
officials will not enforce social distancing measures at the event.
Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota have declined over the past few weeks. However, Pennington County, where the Mount Rushmore Memorial is located, has seen an
in recent weeks.
Attendance at the event is limited to 7,500, though officials previously said others will be able to view the fireworks from outside the main event area. The state handed out 7,500 tickets at random via a lottery.
Richter said the state received 25,179 applicants for the lottery representing a total of 125,787 individuals requesting tickets. All winners have already been notified.
Most of the applicants were from South Dakota, with over 7,700 applicants representing more than 40,000 individuals originating in-state. Californians requested the second-most, with 3,071 applicants requesting tickets on behalf of over 15,000 people.
Other states with applications representing over 2,000 people include Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, and Florida.
This is the first year fireworks at Mt. Rushmore since 2009. State officials did not hold a fireworks display there for the past ten years due to the pine beetle infestation in the Black Hills, which greatly increased the risk of forest fire.