SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The 2019 California State Fair is getting a modern upgrade, moving from their traditional fireworks display to a light show featuring a fleet of flying drones.
Put on by the Great Lakes Drone Company (GLDC), the drone light show will take place at the Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand and runs at 10 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the duration of the state fair.
Cal Expo Media Director Darla Givens said the entire reason for the change was to "create something new and innovative to the state fair experience." In addition to the added “wow” factor, drone shows are environmentally safe and inclusive to those with sensitivity to the loud booms created by fireworks.
According to GLDC CEO Matt Quinn, the show will consist of 80 drones in a synchronized performance using the latest “swarm technology.” The drones will sparkle with changing LED lights along to choreographed music, creating a variety of shapes and formations, Quinn said.
"Our team is working diligently to bring new and exciting forms of entertainment to the California State Fair," said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo general manager and CEO.
The shows will last 15-minutes, the same length as the fireworks displays, Givens said. The show is free to anyone who purchased general admission into the fair. But for those who cannot attend, the display from the show will be visible from two football fields away, according to a press release from Cal Expo.
The 2019 California State Fair runs from July 12 – July 29. More information about the show will be released in the coming weeks.
Drone light shows replacing traditional fireworks displays are starting to become more common. In 2018, Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield celebrated the Fourth of July and their 75th anniversary with the base’s first-ever drone show. That show, however, had to be postponed for a day due to high winds.
Watch the fireworks show at the 2nd Annual New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular from Old Sacramento.