If all goes according to plan, I will visit Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota next summer. They are the final four states in my quest to visit all 50. My wife and I have been discussing routes and itineraries that could put us at Mount Rushmore on the 4th of July. Imagine how cool it would be to see fireworks flying over the granite presidents. What if they shot rockets out of Thomas Jefferson’s nose? It would be awesome! Except that it won’t happen.
The unacceptable risk of wildfire prompted the suspension of the fireworks for the 2010 celebration. While efforts are on-going to mechanically reduce the fuel load in the park and encourage a healthy forest, the condition of the forest in the surrounding area continues to deteriorate and will remain a concern even after the Memorial’s thinning project is completed. “We need to look at the big picture and understand that the fire danger will continue to be high in 2011, therefore the 2011 Independence Day Celebration will not include a fireworks component,” said Mount Rushmore Acting Superintendent Duane Bubac.
My wife and I have to decide if we still want to spend Independence Day at Mount Rushmore or if we would rather find a fireworks display somewhere else along our path. I’ll have to research what’s happening at the Gateway Arch, the Field of Dreams and the World’s Largest Buffalo.