US cities opt for environmental friendly drones instead of fireworks

 Tuesday, July 4, 2023

As fire threats and environmental concerns continue to rise, several cities across the United States are opting for environmentally friendly drone light shows instead of traditional Fourth of July fireworks.

Salt Lake City, Utah, recently held its first-ever drone show, with Mayor Erin Mendenhall emphasising the need to minimize fire danger and reduce air pollution caused by pyrotechnics. Utah experiences an average of 800 to 1,000 wildfires annually, making it one of the most wildfire-prone states.

Following a similar trajectory, Boulder, Colorado, which is currently in its wildfire season, will also replace its longstanding fireworks display with a nighttime drone show. The decision was driven by factors such as increased fire danger due to climate change. Additionally, difficulties in sourcing fireworks and the environmental impacts influenced the city’s move toward drones. The committee responsible for the celebrations took into account the Marshall Fire that occurred in the community 18 months ago.

In California, communities like Lake Tahoe, La Jolla, and Ocean Beach are also embracing synchronized drone events as a more environmentally friendly option. For example, La Jolla, which has been without fireworks for the past five years, decided to explore drone shows as a solution. Drones offer the advantage of being quiet, reusable, and devoid of smoke, debris, and excessive noise that can cause distress to animals and individuals with PTSD, especially in military-heavy areas like San Diego.

The drone shows are designed to simulate fireworks through the use of pixel lights, display aerial animation, and even tell stories using motion graphics. Companies like Drone Studios, which handled the La Jolla light show, have been working closely with these communities to provide visually stunning and environmentally conscious alternatives to traditional fireworks displays.

With the shift toward drone shows, cities are not only prioritizing the safety of their residents and the preservation of their environment but also finding innovative ways to celebrate Independence Day. These drone displays offer a unique and mesmerizing experience while significantly reducing the risks associated with fireworks, such as fire hazards and air pollution. As cities continue to adapt to changing circumstances and embrace sustainable practices, the popularity of drone shows as an alternative to fireworks may continue to grow.

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