“We’re getting them [the fireworks] at the great monument, we’re getting them, I got fireworks … it hasn’t been allowed for environmental reasons, you believe that one, it’s all stone,” Trump said on “The Dan Bongino Show.” “Where’s the environmental reason? I got it approved so I’m going to go there on July 3, and they’re going to have the big fireworks.”
News of Trump’s attendance comes after the National Park Service (NPS) determined on Tuesday after an environmental assessment that the fireworks “would not constitute an impairment of the resources or values of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.”
Fourth of July celebration fireworks have not been held at Mount Rushmore since 2009 after the NPS under the Obama administration discontinued the event due to concerns related to the pine beetle infestation in the Black Hills National Forest and wildfire risks.
“Since that time, the forest has gained strength and advancements in pyrotechnics to allow for a safe fireworks display,” read a South Dakota news release in May 2019.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and the U.S. Department of the Interior had been working on logistics for the fireworks event since 2019.
“This year, after more than a year of diligent efforts, we’re finally bringing fireworks back to Mount Rushmore,” Noem said in a release on Friday.
“There’s truly no better place to celebrate America’s birthday,” she added. “We’re excited that President Trump is coming to enjoy the show with us. He and the Department of Interior have been great partners in bringing this celebration back to our great state and the entire nation.”
Noem first raised the idea of fireworks with Trump in December 2018. On May 7, 2019, Noem announced an agreement with the Department of Interior to bring back fireworks, and Trump wrote on Twitter on the same day expressing his excitement.
“I am pleased to inform you that THE BIG FIREWORKS, after many years of not having any, are coming back to beautiful Mount Rushmore in South Dakota,” he wrote.
Mount Rushmore remains open to the public from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, however its Information Center is closed, and its educational programs have been suspended until further notice.
The massive granite sculpture, which attracts over 2 million visitors each year, was completed in 1941 and depicts former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.