Canada Day to feature drone show instead of fireworks in Langley Township

This year, Langley Township will host its first Canada Day drone light show, instead of the fireworks that once closed the annual celebration.

On Monday, March 11, council voted to fund a $30,000 light show featuring programmed drones during the Canada Day celebration at the Langley Events Centre.

“I'm kind of curious to try it, and we'll come back to it next year,” Mayor Eric Woodward said.

Most council members were excited to try the drone show.

The Township of Langley was hosting fireworks for Canada Day, when the annual event was hosted by a volunteer-led group at the Langley Regional Airport.

The fireworks continued for a few years after the event moved to McLeod Athletic Park as the airport expanded.

However, this large event has sometimes had problems with crowds, and in 2013 a drunken brawl broke out involving around 100 people, just before the fireworks began.

The last year of the event at McLeod Park was 2014, and by 2015 a smaller, family-friendly event, without fireworks, had been created at Willoughby Community Park at the Langley Events Centre. Canada Day events also take place at Fort Langley in partnership with the Fort Langley Museums and National Historic Site, as well as in Langley City.

Several township councilors were enthusiastic about the idea of ​​organizing an evening. The option of a fireworks display has also been discussed, costing about $15,000 and lasting about 15 minutes, but that raises other concerns.

Councilor Tim Baillie highlighted issues with pollution, noise and fire risk at this time of year in particular.

The planned drone show would last approximately 18 minutes, be environmentally friendly and take place between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Canada Day evening.

Drone light shows have become increasingly popular around the world. They involve dozens or hundreds of flying drones dotted with colored lights creating patterns in the air.

Fireworks have faced increasing criticism in recent years because they frighten pets and have in many cases had to be canceled in the Lower Mainland due to drought and fire risks. Illicit fireworks, which have seen a boom during the pandemic, have been targeted by increased enforcement in the township.

ALSO READ: Stricter measures planned for illegal fireworks in Langley Township

Alice Williamson

"Explorer. Food advocate. Analyst. Freelance bacon practitioner. Future teen idol. Proud pop culture expert."

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