Instead of Fireworks, Oregon Cities Embrace Light Shows for Independence Day

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Adventures

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This Independence Day, Oregonians will experience a shift from traditional fireworks to innovative displays featuring live music, laser shows, and illuminated drones. Several cities, including Tigard, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, and Wilsonville, are embracing these modern alternatives to celebrate the holiday.

Tigard’s Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration

For the first time, Tigard will replace its traditional fireworks display with a drone show. This decision stemmed from last year’s red flag warning over the holiday weekend, which prompted the city council to seek safer, more environmentally friendly options. Kent Wyatt, Tigard’s communication manager, explained, “In terms of the environment, veterans, wildlife, there’s got to be some better options,” he told KPTV.

The event, held at the Tigard High School football field at 9000 SW Durham Road, will feature games, food vendors, and live music from the Tualatin Valley Community Band. Gates open at 6 p.m. with free entry. At sunset, 200 drones will take to the sky, creating a dazzling display synchronized to music. Wyatt highlighted the advantages of this new approach: “The ability to really control the show more in terms of the elements is one of the things that we found attractive,” he said.

Mayor Heidi Lueb added, “With this change we are able to address some of the concerns that we’ve heard about a traditional fireworks show and provide a celebration that can include everyone.” Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and sunscreen, but earplugs can be left at home.

2024 Independence Day Illumination in Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego’s Foothills Park, at 199 Foothills Road, will host a free live concert and laser show starting at 8 p.m. The R&B group Kalimba: The Spirit of Earth Wind & Fire will headline the event.

Food vendors such as Romero’s Kitchen, Yoonique Pho & Grill, and Donut Days will be available to satisfy cravings. Following the concert, a spectacular laser show will commence at 10:15 p.m., illuminating the night sky with vibrant beams.

Concerts in the Park: Oregon City

Oregon City’s “concerts in the park” series kicks off with a performance by the CJ Mickens Band, followed by the city’s inaugural Fourth of July laser show. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, located at 1726 Washington Street, with the light show beginning after sunset. Food carts will be present to cater to the hungry crowd.

Wilsonville’s Fourth of July Laser Light Show

Wilsonville’s Town Center Park, at 29600 SW Park Place, will host a concert and light show on Thursday night. This marks the third year of their laser display. Parks and Recreation Director Kris Ammerman noted that the crowd continues to grow each year. “I think the initial idea was to provide a community with an alternative to fireworks,” he told KPTV. “I think the idea was on the heels of the really bad fire season we had here in Oregon in 2020.”

The event will feature local folk guitarist Jacob Westfall and his band, starting at 8 p.m. The laser show will follow at 9:45 p.m., offering free admission to all attendees. Ammerman mentioned the positive feedback from the community regarding this safer and more environmentally friendly celebration.

This Fourth of July, Oregonians can look forward to a blend of tradition and modernity, with celebrations that promise to be memorable for all ages.

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Written By Tyler James

Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.

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