We felt especially patriotic visiting Mount Rushmore around the July 4th holiday. We actually went there twice. Our first visit was on July 3rd. The monument and grounds were very crowded on the third because the National Park Service holds special events on July 3rd and 4th. We saw actors playing the four presidents on the monument, interacting with the crowd. There were special performers like a hula-hoop dancer and singers. Add to this the weather was a perfect 83 degrees and the tourists were all over. We still go some pretty amazing views of the monument.
We went back four days later in the evening to see the night lighting of Mount Rushmore. This time the kids did the junior ranger program. Actually we had picked up the books on our first visit and did many of the activities in Howard. We had to look a few things up on the internet. Some of the questions though could only be answered by visiting the exhibit hall and attending the movie.
The movie was actually quite good. We have attended so many of these info films we are becoming critics of them. The Mount Rushmore film has some great footage and facts about the four presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, as well as footage and facts about Gutzon Borglum and his crew. Borglum was a passionate, patriotic visionary who also headed up the Stone Mountain project in Georgia. He lived to see most the work at Mount Rushmore finished, and his son Lincoln Borglum oversaw the finishing touches.
After watching the film and finishing the junior ranger program we settled into their outdoor auditorium and watched the evening program which includes another movie, lighting of the monument and singing the national anthem. Very stirring to sing the national anthem with the presidents looking down on you!