Mount Rushmore Celebrates Independence Day with ‘Patriotic Tributes’ and Live Music

by Jon D. B.

What other place allows you to celebrate Independence Day with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt?

Three miles outside Keystone, South Dakota is perhaps the most American celebration of the most American holiday. This 4th of July, the National Park Service‘s Mount Rushmore National Memorial is throwing an all-out, two-day party beneath the iconic faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt.

Specifically, visitors to Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 3rd and July 4th have the opportunity to experience a variety of educational programs, patriotic tributes, and musical entertainment in celebration of Independence Day, the memorial’s media release cites.

But that’s not all. Upon arriving to Mt. Rushmore, guests will be greeted by these four presidents themselves courtesy of the Presidential Re-Enactors. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt are present “in person,” and kicked off the park’s celebration on Sunday, July 3rd at 9:30 AM.

Mount Rushmore Presidential re-enactors (from left) Robert Broski as George Washington, Dale Reynolds as Thomas Jefferson. Peter Small as Teddy Roosevelt, and Robert Broski as Abraham Lincoln. (Photo by Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media via Getty Images)

Their inauguration began with an in-character news conference in the Carvers’ Marketplace. There, visitors were encouraged to ask the questions of the presidents. Then, each re-enactors gave presentations, signed autographs, and mingled with visitors on the Memorial grounds.

Live Performances for Independence Day at Mt. Rushmore

Also performing throughout both days will be internationally renowned hoop dancer, Jasmine Pickner-Bell. In addition, Native flutist and storytellers Sequoia Crosswhite and Darrell Red Cloud will share the art of Indigenous American cultures with visitors.

Sunday’s events would culminate with a special evening program beginning at 6:15 PM featuring the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America band from Omaha, Nebraska. Performing two shows at 6:15 PM and 8:15 PM, the big band is always a patriotic highlight. The Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard will also assist the Flag Folding Ceremony and Retreat.

Col. Derek Oakley, commander of the 28th Operations Group, also gave an address Sunday. The Lakota Flag Song will also be a highlight of Independence Day courtesy of Darrell Red Cloud.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Today on July 4th, daytime visitors can enjoy the Presidential re-enactors and Native performers and the traditional Evening Lighting Ceremony. Although the ceremony takes place each evening, it takes on new meaning for Independence Day.

If you plan to visit the Memorial, be aware that the $10 parking fee is still in effect. Active duty military personnel, however, park for free. And as always, parking for seniors is half price. After you pay, keep your parking receipt. It’s valid for a full year of parking!

Happy Independence Day, Outsiders!