Drones Replace Fireworks For 4th July Celebrations
Written by David Conrad   
Sunday, 09 July 2023

Risk of wildfires and other environmental concerns made several US cities to switch to drone light shows for this year's 4th July festivities. And in Texas a Sky Elements Drone Show achieved the Guinness World Record title for the largest aerial sentence formed by multirotor/drones.

Fireworks have been around for thousands of years. In the USA, they've been used to celebrate Independence Day since 1777. But now, after centuries without competition, fireworks finally have a challenger.

4July Drones

The idea that fireworks were past their time was initially promulgated by Intel CEO Brian who declared:

"Drones will replace fireworks"

at CES in 2016 and backed up his statement with a video of 100 drones mounting a light show light while a symphony orchestra plays Beethoven's 5th. This drone display, which took place in Germany in November 2015, set a new Guinness World Record for the most UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) airborne simultaneously, a record which has been broken on several occasions since, mainly by Chinese drone manufacturers.

While Intel has been a keen promoter of drone light displays it things haven't always gone to plan. As we reported, the drone display planned for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea had to be called off due to safety concerns. It became fake news as many outlets ran the advance publicity supplied by Intel!

In 2021 it was drones rather than fireworks that were used at Hogmanay to see in the New Year in Edinburgh and now drones are taking their place in the 4th July Celebrations. 

A prime reason for the move to drones is the risk of fires across many parts of the US while another is the growing awareness of noise pollution. In Los Angeles fireworks are banned due to introduction new environmental rules relating to plastic debris in the ocean. 

Ocean Beach in San Diego used to have a fireworks display from the end of its pier but these were halted in 2019, when storms damaged the pier. This year saw the introduction of the Skyworx Drone Show, courtesy of  Luminosity, a community group established to replace fireworks by drones. Looking forward to the spectacle, Luminosity co-founder Mike James said:

"This is a reimagination of what we had before. A lot of people miss the fireworks, of course — it's not going to be quite the same — but I think people are going to really love the displays and the show." 

He pointed out that, in addition to being better for the environment, drone shows are better for people and pets, saying:

"It's been shown that during Fourth of July there's a large increase in lost dogs and combat veterans have to hide away because of their PTSD and the effects that fireworks have on them." 

The 10-minute record drone show that gained a Guinness World Record for Sky Elements Drone Shows used 1,002 drones fitted with bright LED lights was the largest drone light show ever flown in Texas. The aerial ballet of drones showcased intricate formations and dazzled the crowd with a show paying tribute to the history of the United States. The company broke its own record by producing 40 shows over the holiday weekend using more than 10,000 drones. 

Commenting on that fact that it was mounting drone displays in 11 of the 50 states, with nearly nine shows in California alone, Sky Elements stated:

Drone light shows are a feast for the senses and a greener and safer alternative to traditional fireworks. Using drones significantly reduces the environmental impact associated with fireworks, eliminating harmful smoke and chemical residue. Additionally, drone shows mitigate safety concerns by eliminating the risks associated with fireworks accidents, making them a preferred choice for communities across America.

4July Drones



More Information

Drones Replace Fireworks in Some Fourth of July Shows This Year

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 July 2023 )