Among the units of the National Park System that are offering special events to mark the Fourth of July are Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
At Mammoth Cave, park officials say that for "many years former park and area residents came to Mammoth Cave to celebrate the Fourth of July in a festivity often called simply 'The Fourth' by picnicking, greeting friends, and enjoying musical programs. The National
Park Service and the Mammoth Cave National Park Association have revived this tradition, and everyone is invited."
On the Fourth you're invited to bring a picnic and eat in a shady spot in the picnic area or on the grounds, then attend the entertainment at the park's amphitheatre from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Live music will be presented by Kendall Ford, Horse Cave, the popular gospel group The McCubbins Family, and long-time area favorites Bluegrass Express.
You'll also be able to enjoy the cool in the Rotunda Room in the Mammoth Cave Hotel with a group of folks interested in local history, family stories and genealogy. The room will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For park protection, however, no fireworks will be permitted.
Across the country at Mount Rushmore, the holiday will be celebrated on both July 3 and July 4. As the events at Mammoth Cave, those at Mount Rushmore will feature talent from the local community. Visitors can expect to experience a wide variety of educational programs, patriotic tributes, and musical entertainment in celebration of Independence Day, according to a park release.
However, fireworks will not be displayed during this year's celebration due to the high fire danger resulting from an epidemic of Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in and around the Memorial and the high number of standing dead trees with needles intact in these areas.