KEYSTONE, S.D. (KELO) — Whether you had a ticket for the Mount Rushmore fireworks show on Friday or not, Keystone was busy with visitors.
Tourism season was off to a slow start for Keystone due to COVID-19. But the Mount Rushmore fireworks show brought in people from all over.
“This is my 26th year with this business. It was just a very enjoyable, inspirational for me with the president being here in particular, but the whole weekend was fun,” Pattie Elley, owner of Daisy Chain, said.
After the 4th of July weekend, Keystone is still pretty busy. Business owners say last weekend kicked-off tourism season.
“People came in, they had a lottery for 7,500 people and there were thousands of people that didn’t get to come, but it also brought to mind the fact that we are here and so it was a real kick-off for us to start the season and I think it’s just continuing,” Elley said.
“Even if we are down a little bit this year, given all the circumstances and challenges this summer, I think that would still be a success. But we will see how the summer goes; we still got the Sturgis Rally coming up and we’ll look forward to that next,” Kwinn Neff with the town board said.
Neff says some businesses closed early when protests shutdown Highway 16. Pennington County officials ended up making 21 arrests.
But overall, Neff says the experience was positive. If there are future fireworks at Mount Rushmore, Neff says Keystone will be ready.
“We will look at what we can improve on or maybe have more events for people to participate in town while they wait for fireworks and things like that,” Neff said.
This year was the first time a fireworks display was hosted at Mount Rushmore since 2009 because of fire and pollution concerns.