Why some cities like LA are ditching fireworks for drone shows

Between injury and fire dangers, especially amid a heat wave that's sweeping across Southern California this 4th of July weekend, many cities are continuing to swap their traditional fireworks displays for elaborate drone shows, including right here in Los Angeles. 

Thursday's celebration will be the second year that Gloria Molina Grand Park's 4th of July celebration will have a drone show, featuring 700 drones lighting up the night sky. 

The reviews for last year's show were mixed, and Dawn Robinson-Patrick, the manager of Gloria Molina Grand Park said that event organizers "considered" going back to fireworks, "but we are really, really dedicated to producing programs that are environmentally conscious."

With drones, there's no fire threat, no impact on air quality. And pets, veterans and others appreciate the difference. 

"The loud, booming noise, there's a lot of small kids, with autism, and those loud things really affect them," said Vicki Fogue with Grizzly Entertainment, the company putting on the show. "And then adults that might have some PTSD, this can be a very friendly thing for them."

Once the sun goes down and it's showtime, it takes just one guy with a tablet to wow the crowd. 

"There's a lot of piping underneath, there's a lot of wiring underneath," said Themis Violaris. "And the compasses of the drones, there's a magnetic interference. So we're checking all this stuff before we launch the show [Thursday]."

When asked how the show was designed, Violaris just shrugged, complimented his animators and said, "It's software."

Their shows appear to be popular. Grizzly Entertainment told FOX 11 that they'd quadrupled its business over the last year. In this region alone, the company will perform seven drone shows this 4th of July season, including two on Independence Day.