North Lake Tahoe launching drones instead of fireworks

4th of July
4th of July(MGN)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 11:48 AM PDT
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NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (KOLO) - North Lake Tahoe is celebrating Independence Day a little differently this year. Instead of fireworks, organizers will be launching drones.

In a statement Thursday, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association said that the shift will help reduce fire risk and environmental impacts.

“Celebrating Independence Day with entertaining light shows continues to be important to our communities, however our priority is to balance that intention with the need to take care of Lake Tahoe and reduce the risks that lit fireworks pose,” said Tony Karwowski, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association CEO. “The decision to move forward with drone light shows in Kings Beach and Tahoe City has widespread community support and is well aligned with our region’s commitment to environmental sustainability and destination stewardship. We are excited to support something new, and will gather community feedback after the shows to determine the level of satisfaction with the new celebration.”

Drone light shows are planned for celebrations on July 3 in Kings Beach and July 4 in Tahoe City in place of fireworks.

The drone light shows will feature custom performances up to 15 minutes and will be choreographed to music. Both will take place over Lake Tahoe, with over 100 drones taking off from and returning to shore at the conclusion of the shows.

“After two years without fireworks, the North Lake Tahoe business community expressed their desire to bring back a responsible way to celebrate Independence Day,” said NTBA executive director, Alyssa Reilly. “Our staff and Board felt this was the right time to put our community first by prioritizing sustainability, fire safety and local wildlife. We look forward to our inaugural drone show in Kings Beach, and to spending the holiday with our residents and visitors.”

“Fireworks come with their own list of known environmental impacts—including noise pollution, impacts to the lake, and increased risk of fire at a time when the wildfire risk is already so high. Our Board weighed the risks and decided to make a change to a drone light show in an effort to protect and preserve the place that we all love to live, work, play and visit,” said Katie Biggers, TCDA executive director. “We join other mountain communities across the west who have also sought out new ways to celebrate, and look forward to continuing to light up the lake—but with an eco-friendly alternative to fireworks.”

Learn more about the festivities planned in North Lake Tahoe to celebrate Independence Day at

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