Presidential Mascots Bus Tour

by Katlyn Richter on May 17, 2013 · 1 comment

The presidents of Mount Rushmore National Memorial will embark on a 14-city tour across the Midwest, beginning May 23. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln will visit some of the most popular sites in the Midwest and personally invite residents to make a trip to South Dakota this summer.


The official tour by the presidential mascots and an accompanying street team from the Department of Tourism are part of the Department’s “Your American Journey” marketing campaign. The campaign encourages vacationers to visit places of great historic significance, unimagined beauty and patriotic inspiration within the borders of South Dakota. The group will ride in style in a bus wrapped with custom artwork depicting the variety that South Dakota offers travelers.


“All of the cities along this tour are filled with people who have a high propensity to travel to South Dakota,” says Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “The goal of the presidential mascots’ tour is to build awareness about South Dakota, create excitement among those who see them, and plant the seed of a South Dakota vacation with all of the potential visitors we have the opportunity to speak with one-on-one.”


Cities, in order of the tour schedule, include:


  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Pierre, S.D.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Lincoln, Neb.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Madison, Wis.
  • Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Fargo, N.D.
  • Watertown, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.



The presidential mascots and accompanying street team will also offer residents of these cities a chance to win one of four vacation giveaways. Contest details and registration can be found beginning May 15 on the Department of Tourism’s Facebook page, The contest runs through June 14, 2013.


The mascots, designed to depict the mountain carving in the Black Hills, have traveled across the country the past two years, including a stop in New York City to watch the “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride” float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The presidents’ journey can be followed online at, or by using the hashtag, #SouthDakota, on Twitter (@SouthDakota).

Watch our social channels for more details on where the presidents are and what they are doing!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carolyn Clifford June 18, 2013 at 12:12 am

Our state historian, Doane Robinson, invited a world famous sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, to South Dakota to carve figures on our granite peaks to bring more visitors to SD. It is a disgrace that now our Dept. of Tourism is using ugly monsters, i.e. mascots, to advertise our beautiful National Memorial. Mount Rushmore is not a comical place to visit – many people are moved to tears when they see it for the first time. To paint these grotesque faces on the side of a bus, which goes around the region, instead of a photo of the real Shrine of Democracy shows that you folks in the Dept. of Tourism have no idea what this Memorial really means. Mascots are also an insult to the men who worked on Mt. Rushmore. My husband is Don “Nick” Clifford who is the last living person who worked on the mountain carving. You are using ugly mascots of our United States Presidents to advertise a National Memorial, which is disrespectful. It is unbelievable and very disappointing! Please reconsider your advertising in the future and stop cheapening Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

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