South Dakota Governor Blasts Independence Day Fireworks Ban at Mount Rushmore

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

It might not seem like it, but summer is right around the corner. And with weather conditions across the U.S. getting warmer by the day, Fourth of July celebrations are soon to follow. However, for South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem, Independence Day celebration planning isn’t exactly going to plan. After receiving a ban on fireworks ahead of the 2022 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration, she blasted the National Park Service and President Joe Biden himself.

At a Glance:

  • Independence Day Celebrations at Mount Rushmore have been banned for the second year in a row.
  • SD Gov. Noem sued the Biden Administration following the 2021 display ban.
  • U.S. National Park Service blocks approval due to multiple concerns.

Mount Rushmore Fireworks Display Banned for 2nd Year in a Row

For Outsiders across the country, Independence Day marks a day full of eating, drinking, and, most prominently, shooting off fireworks. Since the U.S. claimed independence in 1776, Americans have been shooting off fireworks during annual celebrations.

Now, after the event has seen cancellation for the second year in a row, Gov. Noem blasted President Biden personally. She stated during a segment on Fox News, “Our president could show strength right now [amid the Ukrainian crisis] by allowing us to celebrate at Mount Rushmore, on Independence Day.”

Nevertheless, the annual Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration has been canceled more than a few times within the last decade or so. The Hill reports the display saw a ten-year ban before the state was able to host the fireworks display at the national monument in 2020.

However, anticipation for future displays was shortlived. The event was again canceled in 2021. And the National Park Service has officially banned fireworks for the 2022 celebrations, despite the SD governor’s lawsuit last year.

Gov. Noem filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration following the cancelation of the event. She said, “Mount Rushmore is the best place in America to celebrate our nation’s birthday.” She added, “I just wish President Biden could see that.”

As Noem battles against the current fireworks ban at Mount Rushmore, her lawsuit for the 2021 ban remains pending.

Why Did the NPS Cancel the Display in the First Place?

While the fireworks ban at Mount Rushmore is surely disappointing for many Americans, the NPS does have its reasons for canceling the annual event.

The Hill identified two main concerns leading to this year’s fireworks ban. One relates to concerns about drought conditions and how they could potentially spark wildfires. And considering the historic wildfires that ravaged the West last summer and fall, the NPS is justified in its reasoning.

The NPS’s secondary reason for canceling the fireworks display is due to opposition from Native American tribes.