PENSACOLA, Fla. — The U.S. military will celebrate America’s independence on Friday with flyovers of Mount Rushmore‘s National Memorial by the Air Force and the Navy’s Blue Angels.
Nearly 7,500 guests are expected to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota for the “Salute to America” event on Friday. President Donald Trump, a huge fireworks display, and live music are also scheduled.
The events will be broadcast live beginning at 6 p.m. MDT. The United States Air Force Academy concert band is also scheduled to perform patriotic music during the event.
The Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron will perform a postcard flyover of the four presidents carved into the mountain. Flying in a six-jet delta formation, the Blue Angels will fly around 8:00 p.m.
“We are currently involved in planning and coordinating our support with the National Park Service,” LTJG. Chelsea Dietlin, Blue Angels public affairs officer, told AvGeekery.com.
Ellsworth Air Force Base’s 28th Bomb Wing is home to the B-1B Lancer heavy bomber. Located 30 minutes northeast of the national memorial, the military base’s B1-B is also scheduled to flyover.
Guests attending the event received tickets last week through a lottery system which closed on June 8. Ticketed participants will be allowed to enter the national park beginning at 3:00 p.m.
“Now more than ever, South Dakota and our nation need something to look forward to, and we can’t think of a better event than celebrating our nation’s independence at Mount Rushmore National Memorial,” Jim Hagen, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said Wednesday.
(Charles A. Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)