Talking about picking presidential noses in yesterday’s post got me thinking about Mount Rushmore. I usually end up visiting the mountain once a year or so, but I didn’t make it up at all this last summer. Not that the oversight was intentional. The fireworks show around the July 4 holiday is one of the more spectacular shows in the country, and most of my family made a pretty big event out of it.
So did a lot of other families. Park officials estimate about 20,000 people visited Rushmore on July 3 for the show, with thousands more crowding the hillsides around the memorial. But you don’t need attendance figures to know it was popular. A quick search on YouTube for “rushmore fireworks” produces a couple dozen results, and some of the footage is pretty spectacular (see above).
Aside from YouTube, there are several good professional videos of the Rushmore fireworks show scattered around the Web. If you didn’t make it this year, it’s a good way to see a bit of what you missed.
As far as future Rushmore events go, the nonprofit Mount Rushmore Institute is presenting a forum on democracy later this month at the mountain. Under the theme, “Understanding the Middle East Conflicts: Why Should Americans Care?” panelists from around the world – including politicians from Israel, Palestine and the U.S. State Department – will discuss the complexities of government and politics in that part of the world.
It’s no wonder they’ve scheduled two days for it: October 16 & 17.If you’re interested in heading to see Rushmore for the democracy forum or just to take in the sculpture, you won’t have a hard time planning. There are a ton of travel resources out there, and a number of good vacation packages built around the memorial – all to be expected from one of the most-visited sites in South Dakota.