KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

‘At my house, we’re blowing stuff up:’ KIRO reacts to Renton drone show

Apr 30, 2024, 1:53 PM

Photo: Fireworks over Lake Union in Seattle on July 4, 2018....

Fireworks over Lake Union in Seattle on July 4, 2018. (Photo: Matt Pitman, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: Matt Pitman, KIRO Newsradio)

The City of Renton is taking a different approach to its annual Fourth of July show. Instead of fireworks lighting up the night sky — drones will take their place.

The city announced an “incredible drone show” will return to the 2024 Renton River Days lineup and will take the place of the Fourth of July fireworks show.

Past coverage: Renton’s Fourth of July show to light up the sky without fireworks

According to the city, fireworks shows weren’t healthy for the environment and the noise was hard on pets. The city also cited the funds needed to source a barge with the upgrades to the North Water Walk as one of the reasons for the change.

On Monday, KIRO Newsradio personalities shared their thoughts on the shift from fireworks to drones on “KIRO Nights.”

KIRO Newsradio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan said while drones are great, he needs fireworks for the Fourth of July.

Others agreed, saying you can’t hear drones like you can fireworks.

KIRO Newsradio producer Joe Wallace said he talked with the American Pyrotechnics Association which is trying to preserve the fireworks tradition.

“Drone shows are unique and they can make crazy, interesting, patterns that are intricate but they are so anticlimactic because it just takes so long for them to set up,” Wallace said.

“There’s no sound. If you use it like Seattle did last year, they did both and that was cool,” he continued. “But yeah, I don’t think replacing firework shows with drone shows is going to have a lasting effect.”

Photo: The City of Seattle had drones and fireworks during its New Years Eve show on December 31, 2023.

The City of Seattle had drones and fireworks during its New Year’s Eve show on December 31, 2023. (Photo: Julia Dallas, MyNorthwest)

Jake Skorheim, host of “KIRO Nights,” said he wants his kids to remember Fourth of July holidays by the fireworks.

“I want my kids to associate Fourth of July (with fireworks) because I’ll tell you what. At my house, we’re going to be blowing stuff up and my kids are going to remember it every single year,” Skorheim said.

“In Snohomish County, when it’s Fourth of July, you know it because people are exploding things. And they’re proud of their country and we love it,” he continued. “And then someday my kids are going to look back and go, ‘Oh my gosh, those memories are literally burned into my brain because we’ve been around fireworks for so long.'”

KIRO Nights: Hyper sexual zombie cicadas?!

However, the effect of fireworks on veterans with PTSD was brought up.

Skorheim said a lot of veterans listen to “KIRO Nights” and they would “probably not say I’m really hankering for a drone show.”

“I bet most of them are saying you know what? I’d like a fireworks show with my kids,” he said. “And I’d like them to see how great America is.”

Wallace said, unlike dogs, veterans know how to avoid a fireworks show if needed.

“But how do you avoid it?” asked KIRO Newsradio traffic reporter Nate Connors.

“Go to Renton,” Sullivan responded.

To listen to the full podcast, click below:

Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights from 7-10 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the KIRO Nights with Jake Skorheim podcast here, on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.

KIRO Nights on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to kiro nights KIRO Nights formerly aired on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM.

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‘At my house, we’re blowing stuff up:’ KIRO reacts to Renton drone show