GALVESTON, Texas - New plans have been announced for Galveston’s 4th of July celebration. Instead of the traditional fireworks display, the city plans to now hold a drone show.
"We’re doing something unique, something different," said Michael Woody, Chief Tourism Officer for Galveston Island. "What we’re hoping is, we find a way to do something spectacular. It could be a new normal for coastal cities to deal with those environmental challenges."
Park board members recently voted to make the switch from Independence Day fireworks to drones. We’re told the new show will involve as many as 1,000 drones flying synchronized with music.
"[I hope] people keep their minds open," said Woody. "Come experience a new tradition."
People we met in Galveston Monday shared their opinions about the new drone show.
"Galveston, we need our fireworks," said Alexis Hardeman. "Don’t let drones take over our fireworks. We need our fireworks."
"For me, [drones] would actually be a good thing," said Felicia Rios. "I have dogs. They’re very scared of the noise of the fireworks."
According to Woody, environmental factors helped lead to the decision made by board members.
"We were finding a lot of debris on the shoreline," said Woody. "Even though [the fireworks are] biodegradable, there are still elements that fall in the water."
The drone show is expected to cost roughly $90,000. In comparison, Woody says the previous fireworks displays cost about $30,000.
"Oh no, leave those drones where they’re at," said Hardeman. "They don’t need 90K. Pay that 25 and let’s celebrate on the beach like we always do. Like we’ve been doing."
"Prices are going up on everything, and the city is going to spend $90,000 on drones, that doesn’t seem right at all," said Rios.
"We view this as an opportunity to draw more people down here," said Woody. "We think when we do a big promotion on a drone show like this, and show examples of what this will look like, we’ll be able to draw more people to the island."