State Watch

July 4 fireworks to return to Mount Rushmore this year despite coronavirus

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said on Tuesday, as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, that July 4 fireworks will be held during planned celebrations at Mount Rushmore.

The National Park Service announced that the Fourth of July celebration would return this year after an 11-year absence due to concerns over wildfires, citing an environmental assessment that showed it would not cause a significant impact, according to KOTA TV.

“We’re excited that this will be happening at Mount Rushmore, we’ve been working on this for quite some time,” Noem said during a press conference.

South Dakota has recorded 2,313 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Last week, two speedway events were held in the state despite discouragement from Noem. She did not, however, try to force the races to be postponed or canceled.

“We’ll continue to evaluate what the crowd looks like,” Noem said of the Independence Day events. “We’ll make adjustments” if necessary, she added.

The governor thanked President Trump and the Department of Interior for working to “make this celebration possible again for the country.”

Trump, who spent last year’s July 4 hosting an armed forces celebration in Washington, D.C., previously said he would “try” to attend this year’s celebration at Mount Rushmore, calling into question why the display was ever canceled.

“What can burn? It’s stone. Nobody knew why,” Trump said in January, according to CNN.

“Regardless of how many people will be there, the fireworks will go off and I can’t think of a better way for us to celebrate America’s birthday,” Noem said.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Fireworks Fourth of July Independence Day July 4 Kristi Noem Mount Rushmore

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