Gov. Kristi Noem hopes the new president supports fireworks at Mount Rushmore as much as the last one.
“Yes, absolutely, I’d love to have President Biden at Mount Rushmore on July third with the fireworks as well,” she said Thursday in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference.
The governor brought fireworks back to Mount Rushmore last summer with then-President Donald Trump’s help. It was the first such show at the mountain carving in 11 years. Trump attended along with several thousand people.
Noem said the fireworks were a success.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to keep them,” she said. “I think we proved last year that we can have an event that focuses on our independence as a nation and that also can be celebrated safely and protect our forests, and people can attend and also protect our water supply and soil.”
The National Park Service had refused previous fireworks permits, because embers were causing wildfires, chemicals in the fireworks were polluting groundwater, and fireworks debris was polluting the grounds of the mountain carving. Efforts were undertaken to prevent such problems last summer, and so far, no problems have been reported.
- Contact SDPB reporter Seth Tupper by email.