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Facing Wildfire Threats, Cities Ditch Fireworks for Drones on July 4th

Can the high-tech alternative deliver the same kind of boom?
Cities concern about the spread of wildfire will host drone light shows instead of fireworks.
Cities concern about the spread of wildfire will host drone light shows instead of fireworks.Great Lakes Drone Company

As far as Independence Day festivities go, the one in Aspen, Colorado, is as old fashioned as it gets—it is, after all, called the “Old-Fashioned July 4th Celebration.” This year, a parade of vintage cars, American flags, and people dressed in patriotic gear will run through Main Street. There will be a community picnic and a block party, along with live music. Then at night, skies will light up with a spectacular display... but not of fireworks. Instead, spectators will be treated to a dance of lighted-up drones.

The irony isn’t lost on Melissa Wisenbaker, a spokesperson for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, which organized the events. “Yes, this is a very new-age thing,” she said. “But you have to evolve.”