State to hold lottery for 7,500 tickets for Mount Rushmore fireworks
State officials say they will hold a lottery for tickets to view the Independence Day fireworks show at Mount Rushmore.
Gov. Kristi Noem announced Thursday that 7,500 people will be able to attend the event, which
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. Fireworks were allowed to return this year after an
from the National Park Service.
The event has garnered some health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Noem said Thursday the state initially had a plan for social distancing during the event, but now officials "do not anticipate doing any social distancing activities during the celebration." She said health care providers are adequately prepared to handle the COVID-19 threat, noting that cases have gone down recently despite more tourists visiting the area.
Noem said officials are still analyzing the cost of the event to the state.
South Dakota Tourism Sec. Jim Hagen called this "an exciting day" for South Dakota, saying the state's tourism is going through a "rough patch" due to the coronavirus.
The lottery opens at 9 a.m. CST Friday. You can apply for a lottery ticket for the event
. Hagen said winners will be drawn randomly, and that signing up sooner does not give anyone an increased chance to win.
Noem said the 7,500 tickets are for a specific area at the memorial. She said the fireworks will be viewable from other spots.
The fireworks display will be held on the 3rd of July.