National Park Service denies request for fireworks display at Mount Rushmore

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Mount Rushmore fireworks are considered unsafe and irresponsible, according to the National Parks Service.

NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost denied South Dakota’s request for a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Thursday. The Hill reported that Frost wrote a letter to the state’s tourism department that the NPS wouldn’t grant a request to have fireworks at the Memorial due to “potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors” from 2020′s display.

“Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event,” Frost wrote in the letter. “In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial.”

Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted that “The best place to celebrate America’s birthday is Mount Rushmore” after the release of the news.

In his letter to South Dakota Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen, Frost said that with such a large crowd, complying with social distancing protocols would be “difficult, if not impossible.”

Fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore in 2020 for a Fourth of July celebration which included former President Trump. It was the first time a fireworks display took place at the memorial since 2009.

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