March 15, 2022
PIERRE, S.D. – Today, in a letter to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the National Park Service (NPS) denied Governor Kristi Noem’s permit application for the 2022 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration.
“Mount Rushmore is the best place in America to celebrate our nation’s birthday – I just wish President Biden could see that,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Last year, the President hypocritically held a fireworks celebration in Washington, D.C., while denying us our own event. This year, it looks like they are planning to do the same.
“NPS announced this denial less than 24 hours after we reminded the court that this year’s permit application was still pending,” continued Governor Noem. “Many of the reasons presented for their denial have been previously addressed, indicating that these reasons are not in good faith. We will move forward with our litigation and urge the court to help us come to a speedy resolution.”
Under Governor Noem’s leadership, the Fireworks Celebration was returned to Mount Rushmore in 2020 after being canceled for more than a decade. The 2020 Celebration incorporated NPS’ regular programming that was referenced in the letter.
Governor Noem is currently in litigation with NPS over the rejection of the 2021 Celebration and future annual celebrations. The lawsuit currently is in front of the United States Eighth Circuit. The name of that lawsuit is Noem v. Haaland.
The Fireworks Celebration would occur in conjunction with the Memorandum of Agreement signed on May 6, 2019, between the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and Governor Noem.