Interior Signs MOA with South Dakota to Explore Future Fireworks Display at Mount Rushmore

Last edited 02/15/2023

Date: May 7, 2019


WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to work to reinstate fireworks at Mount Rushmore for Fourth of July celebrations. The State of South Dakota and the Department of the Interior are committed to an agreement to exercise their full authorities under state and federal law to work to return fireworks to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in a safe and responsible manner on July 3, July 4, or July 5, beginning in the year 2020.

"I look forward to working with the State of South Dakota to restore a fireworks display at one of our nation's great Memorials, which tells the story of the birth, growth, development, and preservation of this great country," said Secretary Bernhardt

“We are excited and honored to see fireworks return to our nation’s Shrine of Democracy,” Governor Noem said. “When the fireworks were previously held at Mount Rushmore, the show was beamed around the globe via satellite. The entire world was able to view a celebration of our nation’s freedoms from the majestic memorial and the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. There is no more fitting place in all the USA to celebrate our democracy than from Mount Rushmore. We are grateful to President Trump and Interior Secretary Bernhardt for helping us make this happen.”

“The National Park Service has a long history of working with partners to host celebrations of American independence at some of our nation’s most iconic places,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “We look forward to working with the State of South Dakota to provide Americans a potential opportunity to once again enjoy fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in a safe and responsible manner.”

There is a long history of celebrations of American independence at Mount Rushmore, including fireworks displays from 1998 to 2009, through cooperation among local agencies, the Mount Rushmore Society, the State of South Dakota, the U.S. Department of the Interior and other federal agencies. These events provide opportunities to celebrate the nation's founding fathers and spirit of democracy and an iconic backdrop for the enjoyment and education of a diverse local, national and international audience.



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