LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – This 4th of July weekend, the sky will be filled with fireworks.
But there’s a growing trend to change all that.
At the Alameda County fair in California, the crew from Sky Elements Drone Shows is preparing to light the sky, placing 100 drones on their marks.
When night falls, they take flight.
This fourth of July, some cities are trading the boom of fireworks for the buzz of drones.
“Drone shows don’t have the noise element that fireworks do. They don’t have the trash element and they don’t have the fire danger either,” said Sky Elements’ Chief Pilot Preston Ward.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks were responsible for igniting more than 19,000 blazes across the United States in 2018.
Incline Village, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe didn’t want to chance it and made the switch to drones.
“We looked at the safety issues around fireworks. I kind of look at the concept of throwing lit objects up into the sky and is that the best thing to do at the height of the fire season?” said Andrew Chapman, president & CEO of Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau.
Ward also has pyrotechnic experience. He says each show lasts about 12 minutes and the drones are programmed with flight path based off a custom animated storyboard.
The number of drones in a light show can range from 100 to 1000.
“Generally our shows run $350-$450 a drone, so a hundred drone show runs about $35,000.”
For some, its just the right price for wowing crowds with a safer alternative to a holiday tradition.