Organisers have scrapped plans to mandate social distancing during President Donald Trump’s appearance at a July 3 Mount Rushmore fireworks display and will not limit the crowd due to coronavirus concerns.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said the National Park Service is handing out 7,500 tickets via lottery for the event, which marks the first time in a decade that fireworks will be set off at the memorial in recognition of Independence Day.
Have you nominated an essential worker or community hero for our #OneWeekofGratitude contest yet? Click here and tell us who you think should win: https://t.co/wn7jRE6s2V— Mount Rushmore (@MountRushmoreNM) June 1, 2020
____________________#RoamFromHome | #MountRushmore | #XanterraTravel
“There will be no better place to celebrate our independence,” Gov Noem said.
“We are excited that President Trump will be joining us for this event.”
Event organisers did not reduce the number of tickets due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Gov Noem said she is not concerned an influx of tourists would heighten the risk.
Coronavirus infections are on a downward trend in the state and hospitals are prepared to handle more infections if needed, she said.
It's been a challenging few months, and I know a lot of folks are looking forward to getting back to normal. Part of that is celebrating the fun and excitement of America's birthday! #RushmoreFireworks pic.twitter.com/j6FbmX7ovC— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) June 4, 2020
People who do not get tickets to the event will be able to gather outside the monument grounds to watch the fireworks, Gov Noem said.
Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen said there will be fewer tickets offered than in previous years, but that was already in the works to help with crowd control.
The state is actively marketing itself as a summer tourism destination, but Mr Hagen said he expects more people are interested in road trips rather than flying.
South Dakota is focused on markets within driving distance, he said.