There's nothing more Fourth of July than the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air. But America's birthday celebration is changing with the times.
This year, dozens of cities, from California to Texas to Florida, are replacing fireworks with drones. Hundreds of them will be synchronized and swooping into formations like the Statue of Liberty, an eagle and even a drone version of a firework.
Graham Hill and Jacob Gould run Hire UAV Pro in Denver. Their business this year is booming in places where fireworks are not.
"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," Hill said.
They've been busy fine-tuning and getting ready for half a dozen shows over the holiday weekend.
"Everything is holding in perfect formation. We're just making sure that everything is staying really well-connected to the system. In an actual show, we'll have 100, 200, sometimes 300 drones," Hill said.
This year they've, been hired by the Town of Parker where Brooke Spain, the events manager, is planning the Fourth of July for 15,000 people.
She said between this year's extreme drought and wildfire threat, fireworks just weren't going to fly.
"We were really bummed. It was a hard decision to make. I think when people understand that safety is the No. 1 concern for our community, and the record heat lately — I think they understand," Spain said.
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