Beginning about 12 hours before the start of President Donald Trump's speech at Mount Rushmore, people were saving seats for themselves and loved ones in Main Street Square where the event would be simulcast.
A small crowd of a few dozen people braved the mid-day heat with highs over 90 degrees to hear former NFL player Jack Brewer and Mike Lindel — My Pillow CEO and supporter of the president — speak before the main event began.
When the sun set behind the downtown Rapid City skyline, the screen showed the speeches from Mount Rushmore. A crowd of several hundred people filed into the square and around the outside on sidewalks to listen to the event. Governor Kristi Noem was applauded when she spoke about the freedoms she has allowed South Dakota residents during the coronavirus pandemic. There were less than a dozen people inside the event wearing a mask recommended by the CDC but not required for the event at Mount Rushmore or in Main Street Square.
When Gov. Noem introduced President Trump, the crowd inside the fence stood and cheered as a few dozen Black Lives Matter protesters raised their voices in protest from the corners at Main and 6th streets. The President drew applause from the crowd when he talked about protesters and their desire to tear down America and its symbols.
Many on the outside of the event began to shout back and forth with protesters at that point. Trump also received applause in Rapid City when he announced a new hall of monuments to "the greatest Americans to ever live."
When the lengthy speech ended, the crowd stood and cheered again. Many left but some of the crowd stayed to see the simulcast of the fireworks show and even a few stray fireworks around the downtown area.
People from several states were in attendance at the event in the square.
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