Park service denies 2021 fireworks at Mount Rushmore

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The National Park Service has denied South Dakota officials’ request to launch fireworks at Mount Rushmore thsi year. KOTA-TV reports that NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost denied the state’s request on Thursday, saying the parks service is concerned about risks to the park and employees after a fireworks show at the monument last July during a campaign appearance by then-President Donald Trump. Frost also said the services’ tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at Mount Rushmore and large crowds the event would draw would make social distancing difficult if not impossible. Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted Friday that the best place to celebrate the Fourth of July is Mount Rushmore.

The following statement from our US Congressmen from South Dakota:

Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), and Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) issued a statement after the National Parks Service denied South Dakota’s request to hold a national firework display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day, citing “health and safety” and the opposition of tribal partners.

“Let’s be clear, this decision is political, not evidence-based,” said the members. “President Biden just said himself that Americans can safely gather by July 4 – what’s changed in a day? Last year millions watched the celebration in awe, and it’s a shame the administration is denying Americans that opportunity this year.”