Mount Rushmore National Memorial News Release
Fireworks Eliminated from Independence Day Celebration for 2012
(Keystone, SD) – Superintendent Cheryl Schreier announced today that
planning is underway for the 2012 Independence Day Celebration at Mount
Rushmore National Memorial. The successful outcomes from the 2010 and 2011
celebrations, along with continued resource concerns, have prompted
National Park Service (NPS) officials to base the 2012 celebration on the
same model, and will not include a fireworks component.
Over 21,000 people visited the Memorial on July 3 in 2011, exceeding the
2009 and 2010 numbers. The event model of the past two years has allowed
all visitors an opportunity to enjoy the Memorial on July 3, and event
planners were pleased that no visitors had to be turned away, as was common
in previous years.
The unacceptable risk of wildfire prompted the suspension of the fireworks
for the 2010 and 2011 celebrations. Efforts are on-going throughout the
Black Hills to combat the Mountain Pine Beetle and reduce fire danger,
however, the condition of the forest in the surrounding area continues to
deteriorate and will remain a concern for the foreseeable future.
“Mount Rushmore has successfully proven they can provide an outstanding
July 3 celebration, in collaboration with Black Hills communities that can
safely offer fireworks shows,” said NPS Regional Director Michael Reynolds.
“The park service is committed to being responsible stewards of the land,
as well as responsible neighbors, and to do that we need to take every
conceivable precaution to mitigate the fire danger. Providing a
celebration without fireworks for the 2012 Independence Day Celebration is
the prudent course of action,” added Reynolds.
It is expected that the 2012 celebration will again offer a schedule of
events that highlight patriotism, cultural celebrations of American
heritage, and features the true meaning of Independence Day, while at the
same time protecting the park’s resources and encouraging visitor safety.
Once again, park officials will collaborate with surrounding communities
and organizations to plan and promote events available throughout the Black
Hills over the July 4 holiday.
Additional information about the 2012 celebration will be available in the
- NPS -