Towns and cities across America will light up the night skies this Fourth of July weekend with drone-operated light displays rather than fireworks.
Drought-like conditions have led many cities like Portland, Oregon to issue bans on fireworks, and the devastating Colorado wildfires last winter spurred some city leaders to reconsider traditional pyrotechnic light displays for their light shows. (RELATED: Wildfires Sweep Across Colorado, Destroying Homes And Sending Many To Hospital)
Parker, Colorado’s Fourth of July celebration will feature “multiple designs and choreographed movements from a fleet of drones set to patriotic music,” according to a statement on the city’s website. Other cities that made the switch to drones include Galveston, Texas, North Lake Tahoe, California, Imperial Beach, California and Lakewood, Colorado, according to Axios.
Demand for drone-powered light displays has soared recently, as municipalities increasingly consider safer alternatives.
“We’ve been contacted by hundreds of municipalities for the Fourth of July. We probably had to turn away probably three or four hundred cities,” Graham Hill of Hire UAV Pro in Denver said. The CEO told Axios that demand is “exponentially larger than last year.”
However, these safer, cleaner and unique displays can be costly. Most displays typically start at $25,000, compared to just $2,000-7,000 for traditional fireworks shows.