Kings Beach and Tahoe City Independence Day Drone Shows Postponed | NLTRANLTRA

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Kings Beach and Tahoe City Independence Day Drone Shows Postponed

drone shows postponed


The unseasonable weather system that is expected to move through the Lake Tahoe region over the weekend bringing cool temperatures and wind gusts, has prompted the postponement of the drone light shows planned in celebration of Independence Day on July 3 in Kings Beach and July 4 in Tahoe City. Aviation forecasts call for winds and wind gusts at flight levels to be significantly higher than allowable limits for the drones to safely fly over Lake Tahoe, and would likely also prohibit traditional pyrotechnic shows in these locations due to their similar wind speed tolerances.

As part of its operational requirements through the FAA and its insurance, Great Lakes Drone Company is required to rely on federal aviation weather data that takes terrain effects and altitude into consideration as well as other FAA guidelines when making flight decisions. The North Tahoe Business Association, Tahoe City Downtown Association, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, regional meteorologists and operators of the Great Lakes Drone Company all participated in the decision to postpone the shows.

“This decision did not come easily, nor is it something that the collective group took lightly,” said Tony Karwowski, NLTRA president and CEO. “Unfortunately, the predicted wind models haven’t changed over the past several days, and reports indicate a 98% probability the drones will be unable to fly over the lake on July 3 and July 4 within safe operational limits. Knowing how popular North Lake Tahoe is over the July 4 holiday, postponing the shows now instead of waiting to call it off at the last minute is the right thing to do for our community.”

The collaborative group discussed several ideas to determine what would be best for the North Lake Tahoe region and determined that postponing early would allow residents, visitors and businesses to make other plans to celebrate the holiday. Plans to reschedule the drone shows to Labor Day weekend are already being evaluated.

“To say we’re disappointed to have to postpone the Kings Beach show and Beach Party would be a tremendous understatement,” said Alyssa Reilly, executive director of the North Tahoe Business Association. “We have been looking forward to and planning for this show for the past several months, but by announcing this decision now, our hope is that people will have time to find other ways to celebrate and that they will continue to support our local businesses.”

“Postponing the July 4 drone show in Tahoe City was certainly not something we wanted to have to do, but we’re working hard to try to secure other entertainment options in Tahoe City for revelers to celebrate and support our business community,” said Katie Biggers, Tahoe City Downtown Association executive director. “From a stewardship perspective and to give our business community time to try to make alternate plans, we didn’t want to wait until the last minute to make the call.”

“NTFPD was excited to participate in the inspection of what would have been North Tahoe’s inaugural professional drone display, however we appreciate the associations’ choice to act with the utmost safety in mind as they make the difficult decision to reschedule the event,” said Brent Armstrong, North Tahoe Fire Protection District Fire Marshal. “Wind regimes vary across the lake, it’s important to remember that surface winds are different from the winds at the flight altitude. Conditions felt on the ground are not the conditions experienced at the altitude where the drones fly. As we celebrate this holiday weekend, we remind people to dress in layers as the weather will be cooler than normal, and conditions on the water are forecast to be choppy. Please ensure all boaters are wearing life jackets.”

As a reminder to all residents and visitors, pyrotechnic fireworks are not permitted in unincorporated Placer County, and North Tahoe fire restrictions are in effect with ALL open burning and recreational fires prohibited. Learn more at

Incline Village’s drone shows on July 4 are still scheduled as planned and will take place over the middle school ball fields with significantly less exposure to the wind gusts expected to occur along the North Lake Tahoe shoreline. For the most up to date information on the Incline Village celebration and drone show, visit