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Mount Rushmore 4th of July celebration is on

 President Trump is expected to join 7,500 people in an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore on July 3. (photos courtesy SD Department of Tourism and the White House)
President Trump is expected to join 7,500 people in an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore on July 3. (photos courtesy SD Department of Tourism and the White House) (KOTA)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 11:14 AM MDT
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Mount Rushmore will once again the the site of a Fourth of July celebration, complete with fireworks and a presidential visit.

"There will be no better place to celebrate our independence and we are excited that President Trump will be joining us for this event," Gov. Kristi Noem said. "We're looking at bringing this celebration back not just to South Dakota and Mount Rushmore but to the entire nation."

"We have been working for well over a year to put this fireworks celebration together," Department of Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen added.

The celebration, set for July 3, will be limited to 7,500 people. These people will be picked via a lottery system via

.

Lottery Details

⦁ The lottery will open Friday, June 5, at 8 a.m. MT and will close on Monday, June 8 at 9:59 p.m. MT.

⦁ Tickets will be assigned at random with opportunities for either Zone 1 (seating in the amphitheater area or on the Grand View Terrace) or Zone 2 (along Highway 244 within the Memorial). You cannot request a zone; it will be assigned through the lottery process. Applicants will be notified on June 12th with the lottery results. If successful, your reservation confirmation will indicate which zone you have been assigned.

⦁ Each ticket includes up to six participants within the vehicle including the driver, or shuttle service to and from the event for your group of up to six participants. When applying for the lottery the total number of participants, up to 6 per vehicle, must be declared. Those awarded tickets will be limited to the number initially declared.

Fees and Cancellations

⦁ There is a $1 non-refundable lottery application fee.

⦁ Tickets are non-transferable.

⦁ No refunds or cancellations will be issued in the event of cancellation.

While the state continues to be impacted by COVID-19, Noem says there will not be social distancing rules during the celebration.

"We did have a plan originally of social distancing; we do not anticipate doing any social distancing activities during the celebration," Noem said.

But she did remind people that if they are sick they need to stay home. And ... "If you're in the vulnerable population and you're worried about the virus then you should stay home," the governor stressed.

The spectator limit is not due to COVID-19 guidelines, rather due to the crowd control issues at previous Independence Day celebrations at Mount Rushmore.

"When the fireworks were at Mount Rushmore before, we know at times they described it as a free-for-all; and it was really hard to manage," Hagen explained. "We're doing everything we can to work diligently to make this a safe and fun event," Hagen said.

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