Mount Rushmore fireworks cost South Dakota $1.5 million

July 9, 2020 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota spent approximately $1.5 million for its Independence Day celebration that featured a speech from President Donald Trump and fireworks above the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Department of Tourism announced on Thursday.

The estimate covers all security, transportation and pyrotechnics for the event, with the fireworks display alone costing the state $350,000. But the Department of Tourism said the advertising exposure and tourism spending more than made up for the expense.

“Our goal with the fireworks celebration was to put a spotlight on the grandeur of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and position South Dakota front and center in the minds of potential visitors,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism.


The Department of Tourism estimated that tourists who spent $2 million brought in about $160,000 in tax revenue. It also estimated the media coverage of the fireworks was worth about $22 million in advertising.

The state paid for the fireworks out of a fund designed to spur research and economic development. The Department of Tourism said it will pick up the bill for the rest of the expenses.