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Noem To Sue Park Service For Dousing Rushmore Fireworks Show

noem fireworks
Governor Noem speaks during last year's 4th of July fireworks show.

Governor Kristi Noem plans to sue the National Park Service for refusing a fireworks show this summer at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.

Governor Noem made her announcement at a speech before the Watertown Rotary Club on Thursday. 

“I’m going to file a lawsuit against the administration to get the fireworks back,” Noem said.  

The governor says the document allowing last year’s July fireworks event included a multi-year agreement.  

“Because I have contracts, I have done all the permits, I’ve done all the work. We’ve gone through all of this. There’s no reason to pull them from me, except for it being political. So, we’re going to challenge that. Unfortunately, That’s the only remedy that I have,” the governor said. 

The 2019 agreement signed under the Trump administration, the Department of the Interior and the state agree to pursue working to return fireworks to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in a safe and responsible manner beginning in 2020.  

The state held the first fireworks show in a decade last July with former President Donald Trump in the audience.  

The park service says it will not allow fireworks this year because of the coronavirus, concerns over wildfire fire hazard, the potential for water contamination and tribal opposition. 

Earlier this month, Governor Noem wrote President Joe Biden a letter urging him to reinstate the fireworks show.