TIMELINE: July 3rd events at Mount Rushmore

KELOLAND.com Original

UPDATED 10:10 p.m. MDT/11:10 CDT

KEYSTONE, S.D. (KELO) — President Donald Trump is leaving Mount Rushmore and soon the state of South Dakota.

Trump will be flying back to Washington D.C. with plans to celebrate the Fourth of July in the Nation’s Capital.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial reopens to the general public at 5 a.m. on Saturday.

You can rewatch the KELOLAND News Special Report on the fireworks returning to Mount Rushmore in the player above.


9:56 p.m. MDT/10:56 p.m. CDT

The fireworks display has fished at Mount Rushmore.

Pyro Spectaculars of Rialto, California put on show. They said more than 10,000 fireworks fired from seven different locations.

You can watch the fireworks show in the video above. They lasted roughly 19 minutes.


8:50 p.m. MDT/9:50 p.m. CDT

President Donald Trump is now speaking at Mount Rushmore.


8:30 p.m. MDT/9:30 p.m. CDT

Gov. Kristi Noem is now speaking at Mount Rushmore. You can watch her full speech below.


8:10 p.m. MDT/9:10 p.m. CDT

The Untied States Air Force Concert Band continues to preform at Mount Rushmore.

The National Anthem was played at 8:13 p.m. with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on stage.

Speeches are expected soon from South Dakota celebratory Mary Hart, Gov. Kristi Noem, Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt and President Trump. Fireworks are expected to start around 9:15 p.m. MDT.


7:40 p.m. MDT/8:40 p.m. CDT

Marine 1 has landed at Mount Rushmore, speeches are set to begin around 7:45 p.m. MDT.

President Trump, Gov. Kristi Noem are all expected to speak at the event before fireworks, which are scheduled for around 9:15 p.m MDT.

Air Force One flew by Mount Rushmore before landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base around 6:40 p.m. MDT. Gov. Noem and Sen. John Thune greeted President Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump.

KELOLAND viewer Michael Olsen sent a photo of Air Force One flying over Mount Rushmore. If you have photos or video to share from your area of KELOLAND, send them to ushare@keloland.com.

Photo from Michael Olsen.

7:25 p.m. MDT/8:25 p.m. CDT

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is reporting “incidents of police misconduct” as well as “violations of constitutional rights” at protests ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit and the return of fireworks at Mount Rushmore. 

A group of protestors shut down a road outside of Keystone near a security checkpoint for an entrance to Mount Rushmore.  

KELOLAND News has learned several people have been arrested from the protest.


7:04 p.m. MDT/8:04 p.m. CDT

The protests outside of Keystone and near a security checkpoint for Mount Rushmore are winding down.

KELOLAND’s Sarah McDonald has reached the scene, where authorities continue to clear debris from the road.


6:57 p.m. MDT/7:57 p.m. CDT

BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D) greeted President Donald Trump shortly after he landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Noem and Thune joined President Trump on Marine One as they fly to Mount Rushmore.


6:40 p.m. MDT/6:30 p.m. CDT

BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — The President of the United States has landed in South Dakota.

At 6:40 p.m. MDT, Air Force One touched down at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Before landing, the plane flew over the crowd at Mount Rushmore.

President Trump will give a speech at Mount Rushmore before the fireworks start, which is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. MDT.


KEYSTONE, S.D. (KELO) — Air Force One is flying over the crowd at Mount Rushmore.


6:20 p.m. MDT/7:20 p.m.CDT

KEYSTONE, S.D. (KELO) — Security checkpoints to the fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Park have closed, since 6 p.m. MDT.

President Donald Trump is en route to South Dakota and will land at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Marine MV-22 Osprey will transport the President’s party to the monument.

Fireworks are expected to begin at 9:15 p.m. MDT.


5:50p.m. MDT/6:50 p.m. CDT

KELOLAND News is unable to reach the protests happening near Mount Rushmore.

KELOLAND’s Sarah McDonald is trying to reach the scene near a security checkpoint for Mount Rushmore ticket holders. Authorities are attempting to clear the area.

At 6 p.m. MDT, ticket-holders must enter the park. Security checkpoints will shut down. 

KELOLAND News is continuing to work to try to get access to cover the protests.

At the same time inside Mount Rushmore, Native American tributes are taking place on the stage. A Crow Creek hoop dance performed and Darrell Red Cloud spoke about the Lakot’a origin story. You can see the live events provided by the South Dakota Department of Tourism.


5:45 p.m. MDT/6:45 p.m. CDT

Marine MV-22 Osprey, which will be transporting members of the official party, just landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base.


4:35 p.m. MDT/5:35 p.m. CDT

President Donald Trump is en route to South Dakota.

The White House official Twitter page posted a video of President Trump arriving at Andrews Air Force Base boarding Air Force One.

The tweet said “Wheels up for Mount Rushmore!”


4:15 p.m. MDT/5:15 p.m.

The programming at Mount Rushmore National Memorial has started.

The United State Air Force Academy concert band has started performing on the stage.

According to the South Dakota tourism website, programming will include “hoop dancers and Lakota storytellers sharing the state’s Native American culture, performances by the United States Air Force Academy concert band and many other talented people. Additionally, there will be incredible performances and flyovers in partnership with the United States Air Force and South Dakota’s own Ellsworth Air Force Base.”

Crowd at Mount Rushmore.
Crowd at Mount Rushmore.

President Donald Trump will arrive at the event Friday evening. He is expected to speak before fireworks take place, which are projected for around 9:15 p.m. MDT.


3:57 p.m. MDT/4:57 p.m. CDT:

COVID-19 testing is underway at Mount Rushmore.

According to Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), “any body who is going to come in contact with President needs to get tested.”

Johnson announced on Twitter he tested negative. Monument Health is conducting the tests at Mount Rushmore.


3:25 p.m. MDT/4:25 p.m. CDT

As crowds of people continue to fill Mount Rushmore National Memorial, temperatures in Rapid City have passed 90 degrees.

Programming ahead of the fireworks show is expected to start at 4 p.m. MDT. The fireworks are expected around 9:15 p.m. MDT.

According to CBS News, Pyro Spectaculars, the company hired for the fireworks display, is expecting to use more than 10,000 fireworks from seven different locations. One fireworks location is the top of George Washington’s head on the monument.


3:04 p.m. MDT/4:05 p.m. CDT

Crowds continue to file in at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Seats around the stage are filling up with people. A crowd of 7,500 is expected for the event, which is expected to start with programming at 4 p.m. MDT. The fireworks are expected to start around 9:15 p.m/9:30 p.m. MDT.


2:45 p.m. MDT/3:45 p.m. CDT

Sunny skies and temperatures nearing 90 degrees are the current weather conditions at Mount Rushmore.

KELOLAND’s Kelli Volk is reporting lines for beverages have been steady. Programming at Mount Rushmore is set to begin in just over an hour at 4 p.m. MDT.


2:15 p.m. MDT/3:15 p.m. CDT

People are grabbing seats ahead of the events at Mount Rushmore.

According to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, programming begins at 4 p.m. MDT.

The forecast for Mount Rushmore Friday night is partly cloudy with highs in the 80s. There’s a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. 


1:55 p.m. MDT/2:55 p.m. CDT

KELOLAND’s Kelli Volk is at Mount Rushmore and is reporting the first wave of ticket holders streaming into the park.

The gates for ticket holders opened at 1:30 p.m. MDT. Ticket holders for the event have until 6 p.m. to get through security check points.

According to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, programming begins at 4 p.m. MDT.


1:45 p.m. MDT/2:45 p.m CDT

Buses of people making the trip to Mount Rushmore continue from the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The gates at the event opened at 1:30 p.m.

Ticket holders to the event have until 6 p.m. to get into Mount Rushmore before the security checkpoints close for the night.


1:15 p.m. MDT/2:15 p.m. CDT

Shuttle buses are making the trip from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore. The first shuttles left the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center just before 1 p.m. MT.

Gates are open to ticket holders as of 1:30 p.m. MT.


11:02 a.m. MDT/ 12:02 p.m. CDT

In just two hours, spectators will begin showing up at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, where they will be bused to Mount Rushmore.


10:00 a.m. MDT/ 11:00 a.m. CDT

The stage is set at Mount Rushmore for Friday’s festivities from the monument.

Courtesy of KELOLAND’s Kelli Volk

8:34 a.m MDT/ 9:34 a.m. CDT

KELOLAND’s Kelli Volk has arrived at the national monument in preparation for tonight’s presidential visit and fireworks show.


12:01 a.m. MDT/1:01 a.m. CDT  
Mount Rushmore National Memorial has closed to the public. 

In addition, South Dakota Highway 244 will close both eastbound and westbound of Mount Rushmore starting at Horsethief Lake to the west and the junction of Highway 16A to the east.


Get ready for a monumental celebration. 

People across America will be celebrating Independence Day on Saturday, but the celebrations start early in South Dakota with the return of fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and a Presidential visit to The Rushmore State. 

KELOLAND News and KELOLAND.com will have team coverage of Friday’s fireworks as well as President Donald Trump’s return to South Dakota. This story will provide a running update as events develop ahead of the fireworks, which are scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m. CT/9:30 p.m. MT. 

If you have photos or video you want to share, email ushare@keloland.com.

Stay with KELOLAND News for the latest updates, listed above.


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