There will be lots to do this Fourth of July holiday at Mount Rushmore National Memorial -- music, patriotic tributes, and presidential re-enactors -- but no fireworks due to the fire danger in the surrounding forests.
The focus of the 2013 celebration will be on active duty military, veterans, and their families, according to park officials.
Planned events for the two-day celebration include re-enactors representing the four Presidents of the sculpture: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. The re-enactors will kick-off the park’s celebration on July 3 at 9:30 a.m. with an in-character news conference in the Carvers Café. The park encourages questions for the presidents to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitors may also bring questions to the event.
At scheduled times on July 3 and 4, the Presidential re-enactors will give presentations, sign autographs, and mingle with visitors on the Memorial grounds. Also performing will be internationally renowned hoop dancer, Jasmine Pickner-Bell, USO tour children’s performer, Phil Baker, and the Rapid City Municipal Band on July 3. Junior Ranger CD composer, Park Ranger Jeff Wolin, and Sequoia Crosswhite, Native flutist, will perform on both July 3 and 4.
Also available on July 3 will be the opportunity for visitors to send a message to our deployed troops through Operation Gratitude, a non-profit, volunteer-based group, that seeks to lift the morale of deployed service members and wounded warriors by sending letters and care packages to the troops. The park will be providing the postcards for visitors to use in sending messages and mailing these from the Memorial.
In addition, active military and their dependents will have the opportunity to obtain National Park Service Military Passes by presenting proper military identification. This pass, which is free of charge, provides free entrance for one year to any National Park Service site that charges an entrance fee. Although Mount Rushmore does not have an entrance fee, the park is pleased to make these available for use at other National Park System sites.
July 3 events will culminate with a special evening program beginning at 6:45 p.m. to honor and recognize our servicemen, veterans, and their families. On July 4, the park’s Independence Day Celebration will conclude with a traditional evening program and sculpture lighting that begins at 9 p.m.
For a complete list of events during the two days, click here.