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Pixis Drones is offering its drone shows as a sustainable substitute for traditional fireworks on Independence Day.

Such drones are becoming a sustainable substitute to traditional fireworks on the 4th of July, with one show taking place in Sunnyvale, California, to illustrate how drones are a green alternative to the dangerous and polluting traditional fireworks. 

A study published in the Atmospheric Environment journal last year found that Independence Day fireworks introduced 42% more pollutants into the air than found on a normal day. Fireworks are also a known fire hazard, starting accidental fires in the hot month of July, said Bernard Ozarowski, president of Pixis Drones, in an interview with GamesBeat.

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The debris from the fireworks also rains down on the show creators. There’s always the chance of a misfire. Pricing starts at around $30,000 for a drone show, which is more expensive than fireworks shows.
But the costs are good for the company in that the drones are reusable.


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There are drone shows taking play on July 4th in places like Gallup, New Mexico (billed as America’s most patriotic small town, and Amarillo, Texas, a populous city in the Texas Panhandle that often has burn bans due to their extreme fire weather index. There’s another coming up for the launch of the game Zenless Zone Zero on July 13th.

Pixis Drones is a drone show company that blends imagination and innovative storytelling with entertainment to create branded aerial art displays that captivate audiences. The company was started in 2021. Ozarowski was inspired after he saw a drone show with the NBA logo that was 30 stories tall with the Statue of Liberty behind it. The team has about 20 people now based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bernard Ozarowski, president of Pixis Drones.

“There’s a power to the experience that is unlike anything I’ve seen before,” he said. “It was in that moment that I personally made a choice to leave a long career at a law firm in New York to chase this. I believe so passionately in the power of the experience that I felt in that moment where this technology is and will continue to go.”

Pixis Drones uses high-end technology that allows brands and partners to design the perfect custom drone light show that entertains audiences with striking, unforgettable imagery.

“There’s the storytelling benefit, and then there is the environmental benefit,” he said. “We take a lot of pride in actually creating something as emotional as possible, and bringing together stories that make people feel something.”

He added, “But on the environmental side, I think it’s really important, especially with climate change, and everything that we’ve seen with wildfires, particularly in California and the Southwest, that people are looking for alternatives for large communal experiences and gatherings with fireworks.”

He noted that fireworks leave detritus in the atmosphere and run real risks of significant wildfires. He also noted he has a sweet young dog at home, and she is traumatized anytime there is a loud bang. It’s also good for veterans who have PTSD or people who are neurodivergent.

“We did a show last Fourth of July at Santa Monica as the first ‘silent fireworks” show, put on by drones. It creates a new avenue for communal experiences that didn’t exist before,” he said.

The drones themselves don’t make music, but they can be choreographed to music as part of a show. That makes people feel more engaged.

During the holidays, there were spectacular drone shows in Dubai and China, but some of those can’t happen in the U.S. due to drone safety regulations. A typical show has about 250 drones, but it can also go over 1,000 drones.

Most of the drone shows run about 10 minutes, but some can be extended to 15 minutes. The drone shows are shorter than a typical fireworks show because they run out of batteries. But it’s conceivable that the team could cycle through multiple drone fleets as some of the drones are retired for charging and others can be launched in their place.

I wondered if people would be outraged at drones replacing fireworks.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily our place to get involved in that element of it. But I will say when it comes to celebrating all the things that go into fourth July,” he said. “We have cool creative here about the Revolutionary War, the bald eagle in the sky, the Betsy Ross flag. We can do a lot of really cool things like that capture people’s imagination and celebrate a lot of things.”


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