La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (LJBTC) is set to replace its traditional 4th of July fireworks display with an exciting drone show, joining the wave of Independence Day celebrations transitioning to a high-tech spectacle. The announcement, made on Instagram, confirmed that the show will commence at around 8:45 p.m. on July 4, featuring no fewer than 100 drones.
This shift comes after four years without fireworks at La Jolla Cove due to COVID-19, financial challenges, and environmental concerns about disrupting the sea lions during pupping season. Bill Kellogg, LJBTC President, said that despite the former tradition of launching fireworks from a barge, crowd control issues made it necessary to discontinue the practice.
He mentioned, “we were getting overrun by people getting argumentative, unruly and out of control.”
While the Cove fireworks persisted for several years thanks to community-supported efforts by George Hauer, a local restaurateur, these too ceased. Kellogg revealed, “I took it up with my management team, and we thought it would be really cool to try and do a drone show.”
The drone show will reportedly be orchestrated by Jeff Stein's company, Drone Studios, renowned for their aerial videography skills and experience in creating custom aerial animations for diverse projects. The show is planned to last around 15 minutes, during which drones will take flight from the beach club, soaring over Avenida de la Playa and in front of La Jolla Shores Hotel.
Viewers can expect a visually stunning show displaying patriotic imagery, such as the year 1776 and the American flag, with drones cleverly shifting from one image to another. When asked if this will become a new annual event, Kellogg cautiously responded, “It will depend on how it turns out this year,” expressing hopes for community support in terms of donations.
La Jolla's drone show marks a shift in how Independence Day is celebrated, sparked by a combination of environmental, crowd control, and financial factors. Other areas, like Ocean Beach, are also adopting similar drone-based spectacles for the 4th of July, further signifying a possible new tradition in the making.
This year, Ocean Beach will host a Fourth of July drone show, having had to halt their traditional fireworks due to the aging pier and damage caused by seasonal storms.
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