Fireworks are returning to Mount Rushmore tonight.
President Donald Trump will give a speech in front of 7,500 attending the event, and fireworks will follow.
The event is expected to begin at 4 p.m. MT with a speech from President Trump set for approximately 8:30 p.m. MT. Fireworks are set for about 9:30 p.m. MT.
Argus Leader reporters Lisa Kaczke and Erin Bormett will provide updates from the event and protests outside. See those updates and more in the Twitter widget below:
Updates from Argus Leader reporters and others
9:30: Trump says protesters seek to ‘defame’ heroes
8:50 p.m.: Trump begins speech, says Mount Rushmore won’t be ‘desecrated’
8:40 p.m. MT: Noem decries takedown of sculptures across U.S.
8:30 p.m. MT: Mary Hart introduces the event
8:15 p.m.: Trump arrives at Mount Rushmore
8 p.m.: Girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for coronavirus
7:45 p.m. MT: Marine One arrives at Mount Rushmore
7 p.m. MT: Final protesters on road being arrested
6:45 p.m. MT: Protesters given until 7 p.m. to leave road
6:30 p.m. MT: Air Force One arriving in Ellsworth
6:15 p.m.: Air Force One flies by Mount Rushmore
6 p.m. MT: Tow trucks removing vehicles
Vans that were blocking the road from Keystone to Mount Rushmore are being removed by tow trucks.
About 10 protesters were sprayed with pepper spray or tear gas earlier.
5:50 p.m. MT: National Guard on scene in Keystone
The National Guard arrived in Keystone shortly after 5 p.m. MT. A few protesters remained, but they were still in the highway leading to Mount Rushmore.
4:30 p.m. MT: Protesters block road to Mount Rushmore
Protesters are demonstrating against President Donald Trump’s arrival in the Black Hills ahead of the return of the Mount Rushmore fireworks display Friday night and blocking a road to Mount Rushmore with vans.
Several vans blocked the road, and protesters stood in the road three hours before President Trump was set to make his way from Rapid City to Keystone and then on the highway to Mount Rushmore.
At 4:30 p.m. MT, authorities declared the protest as an unlawful assembly over a megaphone. Police are demanding protesters vacate the premises or they will be arrested.
4:15 p.m. MT: Mount Rushmore program begins
President Trump is set to give a speech after 8 p.m. MT
4 p.m. MT: Air Force One headed to South Dakota
3:30 p.m. MT: Protests start in Keystone
Protesters are chanting and holding up signs in Keystone, just down the road from Mount Rushmore where President Trump is set to speak tonight.
3:25 MT: Trump plans fiery speech
President Donald Trump planned a fiery Mount Rushmore speech Friday night including denunciations of protesters he says are trying to “tear down” the nation’s history. He’s adding condemnation of those who pull down statues to a big fireworks show and his more traditional July Fourth praise of America’s past and values.
Trump, who has spoken forcefully against protesters who have tried to topple Confederate monuments and statues honoring those who have benefited from slavery, planned to target “the left wing mob and those practicing cancel culture,” said a person familiar with his remarks.
Trump planned to condemn such “totalitarian behavior that is completely alien to American life,” said the person, who described the planned remarks in advance only on condition of anonymity.
The crowd as of 2:30 p.m. MT
The official event kicks off at 4 p.m. MT, but people arrived early. Here’s a look at the crowd inside Mount Rushmore as of 2:30 p.m.
How were got here: President Trump’s visit to South Dakota for Mount Rushmore fireworks show
The history: What’s behind the site’s controversial history
No social distancing: South Dakota health experts warn Mount Rushmore fireworks could cause coronavirus spike
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