Be Prepared and Arrive Early for Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration
Contact: Amy Bracewell, 605-574-3147
Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-574-3147
MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. — Over twenty thousand visitors are expected to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial on Tuesday, July 3, as part of the annual Independence Day Celebration. While memorial officials carefully monitor both weather and fuel conditions in advance of Tuesday’s fireworks show, visitors should plan to arrive early and be prepared for a full day of entertainment at Mount Rushmore.
“We are still really dry and hoping for rain in the next few days to meet the moisture conditions necessary to start the fireworks part of the program,” said memorial superintendent Gerard Baker. “We trust the dry conditions will not deter people from attending what is one of the largest family entertainment events in western South Dakota. With four stages in operation, plus military flyovers, this is the place to be to celebrate our nation’s independence.”
In past years, the parking garage has filled by mid-morning. All vehicles will be screened before entering the memorial. Traffic will be heavy and enhanced security measures will be in place. Visitors are asked to please be patient and expect delays as they arrive and depart the memorial. Carpooling is strongly recommended. By late afternoon, the nearest parking will probably be in Keystone, necessitating a 3-mile hike to the memorial with an 800-foot elevation gain.
No weapons, personal fireworks, or pets will be allowed in the memorial. No umbrellas or lawn chairs will be allowed in the amphitheater, although they will be allowed in an adjacent viewing area. Items left unattended will be confiscated. All containers will be searched and visitors will experience airport-type security before entering the memorial.
Entertainment begins at 10 a.m. on the Xanterra Stage 1 with live music by the contemporary Native American group Brulé. Other musical performances and military flyovers are scheduled throughout the day. Visit www.nps.gov/moru for a full schedule. The entire day’s celebration is dedicated to veterans and active duty members of the military. Conditions permitting, the patriotic fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:15.
Local TV station KEVN, Black Hills Fox, will broadcast the fireworks live. Local FM radio station KKMK, Magic 93.9, will broadcast live from the memorial all day and simulcasting the firework’s patriotic soundtrack for those wishing to view the fireworks from a distance.
For current information on events at Mount Rushmore, call the memorial at 605-574-2523 and press 5.
Did You Know?
Mount Rushmore is named after New York City attorney Charles E. Rushmore, who came to the Black Hills in 1884-85 to check legal titles on properties. On returning to Pine Camp he asked Bill Challis the name of this mountain. Bill replied, "Never had a name but from now on we'll call it Rushmore."