Some Cities Replace July 4 Fireworks With Environment-Friendly Drone Shows

Jul 3, 2023

People are becoming more aware of how fireworks can be bad for our environment and wildlife. Because of this, some places are looking for other ways to celebrate Independence Day. 

The COVID-19 pandemic made it hard to have public fireworks shows on July 4th for the past three years. But with the pandemic getting better, the fireworks business hopes to make a comeback in 2023. Still, some cities aren't planning to go back to fireworks. 

In parts of the western US, there's a big risk of wildfires. Some communities in that area are choosing to have drone or laser shows instead.  

Fireworks don't just risk causing wildfires. They also let out harmful chemicals, like lead, that can be bad to breathe in. They can scare pets who might run away and get lost or hit by cars. Birds can get confused and leave their nests. 

Drone shows, on the other hand, don't have these problems. They aren’t loud. They also don’t give off pollutants, and they’re capable of creating elaborate sky-images that simple bursts of light cannot. Spectators increasingly seem to prefer them.

“We surveyed our residents and found that they are overwhelmingly supportive of finding non firework alternative events," Lynze Twede told KUTV News. She is the events manager for Salt Lake City. 

But drone shows do have one problem: they cost a lot. The equipment is pricey and there are more rules to follow, according to experts. A drone show can even cost four times more than regular fireworks. Still, it looks like drones are here to stay. A research company called Allied Market Research said that the drone industry was pretty unknown ten years ago. However, in 2021 it was worth $1 billion. 

Photo by Arthur Chauvineau courtesy of Unsplash. 

Reflect: Imagine your community hired you to design a safe, fun replacement for their traditional fireworks show. What would you include in your proposal?

According to the article, why are some communities moving away from using traditional fireworks? (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. Some states have made fireworks illegal.
b. Drones are a cheaper way to celebrate.
c. They are dangerous to people and the planet.
d. There aren’t enough fireworks since the COVID-19 pandemic.
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