South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem continues to be disappointed in being denied the ability to host an Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, as was done last year under former President Donald Trump.
The Republican governor spoke with Fox News in an exclusive interview at the base of Mount Rushmore, which is a national park, and insisted the decision not to allow July 4th fireworks is purely political.
“We’re disappointed there won’t be fireworks here this year. At the last minute, when President Biden came into office, the National Park Service pulled our permit to host the fireworks,” Noem explained.
The former four-term congresswoman called the decision “pretty devastating.”
“We love America, we love our monument and we want the entire country to celebrate Independence Day with us and to have the Biden administration pull it for no reason was very disappointing,” Noem said. “The fake news has been saying its irresponsible of me to want to do fireworks here at Mount Rushmore because of the dry conditions and that I want to jeopardize our environment and the people who live here, and it’s raining.”
“Our belief is truly that it was political. I believe that the Biden administration pulled the fireworks from us to be punitive,” Noem added. “They did not like us hosting it last year in the middle of COVID. They did not like the fact that President Trump was here celebrating with us, and that they had the ability to stop us from doing it this year. And they’re doing it for arbitrary reasons.”
Sandra Mclain, owner of Big Thunder Gold Mine, which offers mine tours, a mining museum and gold panning, said tourists are upset over the call and she is concerned about whether they might return for future visits.
“They want to see positive in the United States, and they want to see it and they have found it in South Dakota,” she said. “That’s why they’re visiting here. And they’re here, and I’m more concerned about them being so disappointed, and maybe they won’t come back again. And that could get and hurt us financially because of that decision.”
“I think it’s a bummer. I’ve heard it’s really something to come see and a lot of people drive a long way to come see Mount Rushmore,” visitor Matt Parry said. “It’s another attraction and another reason to come. Back in Wisconsin we love our fireworks.”
Another visitor said she believed the local communities should have jurisdiction over whether to have fireworks or not.
Noem said people are telling her to hold the fireworks celebration anyway, to shoot them over Mount Rushmore somehow.
“We will celebrate,” the governor said, without elaborating. “Nothing will stop us from having the opportunity to recognize America and its birth. But it’s unfortunate that we can’t do it at America’s monument.”
Noem vowed not to give up, saying she believes she has standing to challenge the call and that despite Democrat-appointed federal judges in the state, she sees “a path to victory.”
Citing today’s cancel culture, she said the left is not too eager to celebrate America.
“They don’t want to celebrate America by honoring these founders on our mountain that led our country through challenging times,” Noem said. “They have been taking down monuments across this country, and South Dakota has stood here and proudly held up our former leaders, recognizing that we can learn everything from everybody in the past that has led us. We never once said they were perfect, but we did say they were important to the foundation of this country, our freedoms and the constitution that still keeps America special.”
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