Millcreek prepping drones for its Independence Day spectacular

Jul 3, 2024, 6:50 PM | Updated: Jul 4, 2024, 2:12 pm

MILLCREEK — For the second year in a row, Millcreek is celebrating the Fourth of July with a drone light show instead of the typical fireworks, and it’s not the only city doing so.

Nationwide, dazzling drone shows are replacing fireworks, with Utah cities like Millcreek and Salt Lake City following suit, doing drone-only Fourth of July Air shows, and leaving explosive fireworks behind.

Millcreek city officials said fire safety is one reason why.

“Drones are kind of a kinder gentler form of entertainment. Shooting off fireworks can get sparks from those. We don’t have to worry about that with drones at all,” said Rachel Nasse, Millcreek Community Life Events Planning Manager

Crew preparing for the July 3 light show at Millcreek Common.

Crews preparing for the July 3 light show at Millcreek Common. (KSL TV)

Preparations are underway at the Millcreek Common for the city’s now second annual Independence Eve Big Air show Wednesday night, featuring 150 flying drones, forming classic patriotic shapes and some designs Millcreek wants to keep as a surprise.

“We’ll have some things that will help remind us of bringing community together,” Masse said.

The light show drones set up for the show.

The light show drones are set up for the show. (KSL TV)

Some people in Millcreek said they don’t miss the fireworks.

“Uh, I prefer them, actually,” said Allie Lucas, planning to watch the show.

“I’m glad they’re doing a safer version of a light show here,” added George Pence, Millcreek resident.

“It’s fun to see the different shapes and things they make, so the kids like it,” said Brigid Wilson, who plans to watch the show.

2023's Fourth of July lightshow performance at Common Millcreek.

2023’s Fourth of July light show performance at Common Millcreek. (Courtesy Millcreek Common)

According to Sky Elements, one of the companies producing similar drone shows across the country, the business has now grown to shows in 30 cities nationwide. From Honolulu to Miami, the company is creating a new Independence Day tradition unique to each city.

“With a firework show, there’s only so much that you can do. With a drone show, we really can customize it for your community,” Masse said.

So, while it may not be the fireworks of old, it is a patriotic light show now reflecting more of America.

If you plan to see the drones take off from the Millcreek Common, the city wants you to know it was crowded last year and expect it to be that way again. Whether you pay to watch it from the plaza or stop nearby, Millcreek encourages everyone to walk, carpool, or take the bus because the parking lot will be full.

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Millcreek prepping drones for its Independence Day spectacular