KEYSTONE, SD- Visitors to Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 3rd and 4th will have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of educational programs, patriotic tributes, and musical entertainment in celebration of Independence Day with a focus on active duty military and veterans. A full schedule of events has been planned for visitors to enjoy. The festivities will begin at 9:00 AM on Tuesday culminating with the special evening program and sculpture lighting ceremony.
Highlights of the celebration will include Presidential re-enactors representing the four Presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. On July 3 at 9:00 AM all four Presidential re-enactors will gather at the Carvers Café for an in-character press conference. Visitors are welcome to email questions for the press conference in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring their questions to the event.
At scheduled times on both July 3 and 4, each re-enactor will give presentations in the Visitor Center theater, sign autographs, and mingle around the Memorial grounds. Internationally renowned hoop dancer, Kevin Locke, and the Germans from Russia folk dance group will provide performances on July 3. Sequoia Crosswhite, a Native Flutist will perform on both July 3 and 4.
The July 3 evening ceremony will begin in the amphitheater at 6:00 PM with greetings by Mount Rushmore Superintendent Cheryl Schreier. “We are excited about the patriotic celebration scheduled at Mount Rushmore for the Independence Day celebration,” said Superintendent Schreier. “Visitors to the Shrine of Democracy on July 3 will have an opportunity to express their patriotism through a variety of activities, with the Memorial serving as their inspirational backdrop,” added Schreier.
Beginning with a Junior Ranger swearing-in ceremony, the program will feature A Tradition of Service, which is a Veteran’s Recognition event honoring a family with the tradition of military service, a military swearing-in ceremony conducted by Ellsworth Air Force Base Commander Colonel Mark E. Weatherington, POW-MIA honoring ceremony, and the sculpture lighting ceremony. The evening program will highlight the music of the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band the Brass in Blue.
For a complete listing of the 2012 Independence Day schedule of events, visit the park web site at www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm.