SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The National Park Service has rejected South Dakota’s request for July 4 fireworks at Mount Rushmore, the Hill reported today.
Fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore last year for the first time since 2009. The July 3 event was attended by President Donald Trump.
“Governor Noem is going to do everything in her ability to ensure that we can celebrate America’s birthday with fireworks at Mount Rushmore,” said Ian Fury, Noem’s communications director.
NPS regional director Herbert Frost said in a letter to South Dakota that the potential risks to the park were still being evaluated from 2020 and that tribal partners oppose fireworks at Mount Rushmore were reasons, along with COVID-19 for rejecting the state’s request, the Hill reported.
Fury cited President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech from March 11 in which the President commented about the pandemic and said if the response is done well and together people could gather and celebrate July 4.
“The best place in America to hold such a special celebration would be Mount Rushmore, fireworks included,” Fury said.
The South Dakota Department of Tourism had a lottery drawing for 7,500 tickets for the event. More than 125,000 tickets were requested.
On the day of the event, a group of protestors shut down a road outside of Keystone near a security checkpoint for an entrance to Mount Rushmore.
Fireworks at Mount Rushmore had been rejected in years prior to 2020 because of fire and environmental concerns.