In a sign of the times, fireworks will be replaced by drones for National Day celebrations, to the joy of those who oppose the pollution and noise produced by traditional displays in Monaco’s night skies.

A total of 196 small drones will take off in synchronised flight at 20:00 on Thursday from Palace Square for a display that will last 12 minutes.

HSH Prince Albert is very enthusiastic, telling local French-language daily Monaco Matin that it will be “quite spectacular.”
“This kind of light drone show is starting to take place all over the place, especially for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics,” he said, adding that he had also seen it at the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in 2020.

“It’s quite spectacular. We will have to look at a hundred metres above the Rock what will happen this Thursday evening at 8 pm.”

The man behind the controls will be Erwan Grimaud, founder and manager of MC-Clic, Monaco’s drone company.

He said that while drone flights produce no CO2, a seven-minute firework display produces 24 kg of CO2m as well as arcinogenic waste. He added: “I am convinced that drone shows will develop everywhere.”

“Our goal … is to supersede fireworks – We love fireworks but they blow things up, they’re single-use, they make things catch on fire and they scare animals,” Celestial co-founder John Hopkins in the UK told Reuters.

“What we’re trying to do is create something, creatively, more interesting, green because we use renewable energy sources and we don’t scare the animals.”

FILE PHOTO: A drone display Reuters