In 2023, I got the absolute privilege to see my first drone light show in person. In 2024, I hope to see many more — and I hope you do too. Drone light shows have become a thrilling phenomenon. And particularly as products like Verge Aero’s Composer software and the growth of companies making light show drones make drone light shows more ubiquitous, there’s a good chance you’ll see a drone light show in 2024.
Many drone light shows happen with little notice, but some are planned well in advance. I’ve been on the lookout for those ones that have been giving advance notice. With that, I’ve curated a list of some of the best, public drone light shows so you can make travel plans and see them for yourself.
This is hardly a comprehensive list of every drone light show happening in 2024. In fact, there are hundreds that take place in just a month. Instead, here I’ve specifically listed shows that are set to be either especially big, especially delightful, or especially easy to attend (e.g. they occur in a big tourism destination or as part of a broader festival that you’d likely want to head to).
So whether you’ve never seen a drone light show yet, or you’re ready to bask in another, here are some items to add to your calendar so you can witness your own, in-person drone light show in 2024:
Top drone light shows to watch in 2024
Drone light shows in February 2024
Bradenton Area River Regatta
Date: Friday, February 16
Location: Green Bridge, Palmetto, Florida
How to watch: This drone show will kick off a weekend of powerboat racing and other festivities in a civic event that’s free to the public. The show will be put on by the folks at Sky Elements. Learn more about the Bradenton Area River Regatta drone show here.
New Baltimore Lions Winterfest
Date: Saturday, February 24
Location: New Baltimore, Maryland
How to watch: This drone show is set to be delightful because it’s centered around an entire festival — plus it’s for charity. The annual fundraising event will feature entertainment, food & beverage, merchandise, games, and activities, with proceeds supporting the New Baltimore Lions Club and its charities. The show is put on by Starlight Aerial Productions, which was founded in 2016 in southwestern Michigan.
Drone light shows in March 2024
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Date: Saturday and Sunday nights, from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 17
Location: Houston, Texas
How to watch: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a massive, annual event that first launched in 1932. And 2024 marks the second time that drones are a part of it. Beyond drones, the event entails a massive number of festivities including a carnival, wine show, 5K and 10K race, downtown rodeo parade, trail ride and barbecue contest. Of course, the centerpiece is the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo.
The drone show will take place each Saturday and Sunday night during the Rodeo’s three-week event, scheduled for Feb. 27-March 17, 2024. The show will be put on by the folks at Sky Elements. Learn more about the rodeo’s drone show here.
Drone light shows in April 2024
Thunder Over Louisville
Date: Saturday, April 20
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
How to watch: This is a must-attend event for aviation enthusiasts, as it’s so much more than a drone show. Thunder Over Louisville is one of the top five air shows in the country, drawing an average of 625,000 people each year since 1997. The show is put on by Starlight Aerial Productions, which was founded in 2016 in southwestern Michigan.
Date: Saturday, April 25 through May 3
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
How to watch: Hang around Louisville even longer to participate in Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville. The weeklong event is named for the supermarket chain and makes for a giant festival. Expect a week filled with concerts, food, a kids’ inflatable playground, midway rides and, yes, a nighty drone show. It’s put on once again by Starlight Aerial Productions, the same folks powering the Thunder Over Louisville show. Learn more about Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville here.
Drone light shows in May 2024
Port of Redwood City Drone Show
Date: Saturday, May 4
Location: Redwood City, California
How to watch: After a successful show last year where the Port of Redwood City and Open Sky Productions hosted a free maritime-themed drone show over the bay, there’s another event planned. There aren’t a ton of details yet, but last year’s version was a full community festival featuring a live band and food trucks.
Music Across America Drone & Light Show
Date: Friday, May 24 (kickoff night), with shows on most nights through Aug. 24
Location: Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia
How to watch: The Music Across America Drone & Light Show is a centerpiece of the theme park that’s located only minutes from downtown Atlanta. The 250 choreographed color-changing drones are synced to music and are accompanied by lasers, too.
Performances are held most nights between May 24 and August 24, though check the schedule to confirm a performance is scheduled on your intended day. Admission to see the drone show is included when you purchase an Attractions ticket, though you can also attend by purchasing a standalone ticket. Learn more about the Stone Mountain Park drone show here.
Drone light shows in June 2024
Alameda County Fair
Date: Friday, June 14 (kickoff night) through July 7 (most nights)
Location: Pleasanton, California
How to watch: The Alameda County Fair has used drones in past years, and the drone light show is set to return for the 2024 fair. The California fair features your usual classics like carnival rides, funnel cakes, horse racing and concerts. But the drone show is rather unique — and free with admission. It plays every night of the fair except July 4.
And though it’s visible all over the Fairgrounds, the best viewing is at the race track. If you’re not sure what days to visit, consider going on opening day (Friday, June 14) or Friday, July 28. On those two days, the drone show will be accompanied by fireworks. Learn more about the Alameda County Fair here.
Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration
Date: Saturday, June 15 (kickoff night) through Aug. 11
Location: Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
How to watch: Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration is a summer festival held at the Dollywood theme park. You’ll need a theme park ticket to enter, which grants you access to all the rides, plus bonus summer activities like a nighttime dance party beneath the Wildwood Grove tree and a bubble show. The highlight though, is a nightly drone show.
The celebration kicks off on June 15, but the drone show runs nightly through the duration of the festival, which runs through Aug. 11. Learn more about the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration here.
Drone light shows in July 2024
Luminous Long Sault Lumineux
Date: Saturday, July 6
Location: Long Sault, Ontario, Canada
How to watch: Long Sault is a community event that centers around a parade of kayaks, canoes, motor boats, and sailboats — all decorated with LED lights. But the lights aren’t contained to just the water. There’s also a drone light show involved.
Learn more about Long Sault here.
A’s Drone Light Show
Date: Friday, July 19
Location: Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California
How to watch: You’ll need to purchase a ticket to the A’s game, which is being played against the Los Angeles Angels. Following the baseball game, fans will be allowed to sit on the outfield grass to watch the drone show. The game begins at 6:40 p.m., but the drone show won’t start until the game is over.
If you’re really on a budget, you’ll be able to watch it from outside the stadium. If you park in the A’s lot, you’ll get hit with a $30 parking fee. Or, you could take BART (the region’s train system) in and walk over to the parking lot, where you’ll be able to see the show. Learn more about the A’s drone light show here.
Drone light shows in August 2024
Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
Date: Friday, August 2
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan
How to watch: This massive event draws more than 350,000 people, ranging from people looking for a big picnic to high-ranking Coast Guard dignitaries from Washington, D.C. 2024 marks 100 years of the annual event which began in 2024. To celebrate, Starlight Drone Shows will be putting on a drone light show. Learn more about the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival here.
A’s Drone Light Show
Date: Friday, August 23
Location: Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California
How to watch: You’ll need to purchase a ticket to the A’s game, which is being played against the Milwaukee Brewers. Following the baseball game, fans will be allowed to sit on the outfield grass to watch the drone show. The game begins at 6:40 p.m., but the drone show won’t start until the game is over.
If you’re really on a budget, you’ll be able to watch this drone light show from outside the stadium. If you park in the A’s lot, you’ll get hit with a $30 parking fee. Or, you could take BART (the region’s train system) in and walk over to the parking lot, where you’ll be able to see the show. Learn more about the A’s drone light show here.
Drone light shows in September 2024
Disney Electrical Sky Parade (final night)
Date: Monday, September 30
Location: Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, Paris, France
How to watch: You’ll need a Disney ticket to see this Disney drone show — and you’ll also have to head to France. The Disney Electrical Sky Parade is the latest in a series of drone shows that have occurred at Disneyland Park in France.
This one debuted in January 2024 and pays homage to the famous Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade — this time putting the iconic sparkling floats in drone form as they fly around the sky. Though I’ve noted this drone show in the September section, note that you can already see it as you’re reading this. It runs nightly through Sept. 30, 2024.
Drone light shows in October 2024
Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
Date: Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
How to watch: While most drone shows happen at night to take advantage of the night time darkness, these drone shows will happen in the morning — albeit so early it’ll still be dark. The annual balloon fiesta is a site to see with all sorts of hot air balloons as well as entertainment like dancers and musicians. There are balloon races, balloon pin trading, and even other flight exhibitions like a kite show. And at 5:45 on both weekend mornings, there will be a drone light show.
Learn more about the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival here.
Other drone light shows in 2024
Keep in mind that the above list is not exhaustive, and new drone light shows are being announced all the time. I’ve also very likely overlooked the myriad of small drone shows that are becoming increasingly common. This list hones in on shows that someone might be more inclined to travel to, or that are otherwise quite easy to see, such as occurring in a big public place with free viewing.
And expect plenty of holiday time drone shows to be announced later this year. Since it’s so far out, I don’t expect to hear about those schedules for at least a few months. We’ll be updating this post with more shows as we learn of them.
By the way, if you’ve got a great drone light show recommendation that people should consider in 2024, do share it by leaving a comment below! And if you’re looking for 2024 drone events that aren’t just drone light shows (I’m talking conferences, expos and seminars), check out my guide to the best 2024 drone events to attend in the coming year.