An interesting trend: Fourth of July fireworks shows being replaced with drone light shows. Reasons cited by cities in California and Colorado range from logistical (fireworks supply chain issues) to environmental (air pollution caused by fireworks, fear of igniting wildfires) to social (veterans with PTSD, not to mention dogs, can have bad reactions to the sounds). And in a nod to sustainability, some companies even bring solar generators to power the drones.
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When it comes to drone light shows, Texas-based Sky Elements is ahead of the curve. They started out as a fireworks staging company, but five years ago company founder Rick Boss swapped fireworks for drones, accurately predicting the shift in demand. Boss’ bet paid off, and business is booming, no pun intended; for this year’s Fourth of July festivities, the company was contracted to put on no less than 40 shows across eleven different states.
The largest of this past weekend’s shows took place in Texas, where the company’s 1,002-drone spectacle broke the Guinness World Record for the category. Here’s the show in question–which still does feature some traditional fireworks–condensed to three minutes and change:
Here’s Sky Elements’ Preston Ward, a former fireworks technician who switched over to drones, explaining why they make more sense:
Lastly, you can see a portfolio of the company’s previous shows on their Instagram.