MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. – Partnerships were key to the success of the Independence Day celebrations at Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 3 and 4. The National Park Service’s two-day event attracted more than 30,000 people. Behind the scenes, months of planning and contributions from several federal and state agencies, local organizations and individuals lead to a successful event that included cultural and musical entertainment, military flyovers, and one of the country’s most extraordinary fireworks displays.
"This special event has grown into a celebration that no one agency or organization can organize. It takes hundreds of individuals, most working behind the scenes, to plan and carryout an event of this magnitude," said memorial Superintendent Gerard Baker. "We thank each and every person who helped us with this year’s event."
Groups who contributed to the success of this all-day event included The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Ellsworth Air Force Base, the American Red Cross, and many more civilian volunteers. Over fifteen different local, state, and federal agencies as well as various local organizations offered their services to help with the celebration.
Superintendent Baker continued, "On the day of the event, we depend on many volunteers from the surrounding area to help staff key posts during the celebration. Our volunteers did everything from parking cars to ushering at the amphitheater to providing fire protection."
The fireworks were broadcast live via a satellite feed provided by the South Dakota Department of Tourism and was picked up by stations across the country.
Clean-up began almost immediately following the conclusion of the pyrotechnics Thursday evening. The rope highline system used to haul the fireworks to the top of the sculpture will be set up on July 5 so the remaining supplies and equipment can be removed from the mountain. This operation is expected to take less than two days.