Mount Rushmore brings Fourth of July fireworks back after more than a decade

Local News

KEYSTONE, S.D. (KELO) — After more than a decade and a lot of consideration, Mount Rushmore’s Fourth of July celebration will include fireworks this year.

The fireworks display at Mount Rushmore was halted in 2009, due to concerns it might spark wildfires in the surrounding Black Hills National Forest. But this summer, that could change.

“Last year there was an agreement signed by the Department of Interior and the State of South Dakota to look into the possibility of bringing fireworks back to Mount Rushmore. They wanted to make sure that if that was going to happen that it was a safe and responsible way to do that so through that discussion came an environmental assessment,” Maureen McGee-Ballinger, Chief of Interpretation and Education, said.

The environmental assessment allowed people to comment on what they thought needed to be examined in the park for a fireworks display to be safe.

“Those were responded to in a final decision document. That final decision document was finding no significant impact,” Ballinger said.

The fireworks display will be hosted on July 3rd of this year. Julie Jensen with Visit Rapid City says the event could bring in visitors from across the country.

“Whenever it is allowable and safe and smart. We think July 3rd could be the most perfect day to celebrate the opening of America,” Julie Schmitz Jensen, CEO of Visit Rapid City, said.

Unfortunately, the national memorial says with the current health crisis, and other things, plans could still change.

“The safety of our visitors, our staff, our volunteers, that comes first so we would need to assess safety of people with the virus, security of the area, wildfire situations and even when it comes right down to it, weather,” Ballinger said.

Click here to see the Environmental Assessment.

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