City bans drones at Red, Hot & Boom

Altamonte Springs Fourth of July celebration features musical acts, fireworks


ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The city of Altamonte Springs has banned drones at Red, Hot & Boom, citing safety concerns.

Red, Hot & Boom, a Fourth of July celebration featuring musical acts and a fireworks show, will be held 4 to 11 p.m. Friday at Cranes Roost Park.

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More than 150,000 people attend the annual event, which this year will include music artists Andy Grammer and Shaggy.

On the city's website, drones are atop the list of prohibited items at the event. Other banned items include coolers on wheels, firearms, weapons, glass containers, cans, alcohol and grills.

"It's a public safety risk. With 150,000-plus patrons, a drone could injure someone if it crashed in the crowd," city spokesman Rob Pelton said. "Also, the event is patrolled by police helicopters and drones could interfere with their airspace and safety."

"You let everyone flying drones up there, you don't know what might happen," said Stephan Cain.

Cain owns a drone and agrees with police.

"I think that they should leave the drones at home and let the fireworks show do itself," Cain said.

Police said they are now becoming more affordable so they are growing in popularity. Police decided to ban drones after several people inquired about bringing them.

"Why do you need them? What for? You've got Red, Hot, Boom. You've got all that activity. You don't need a drone," Sue Davis said.

"Just for amateurs, I don't know, I don't think it's safe," said Zulma Dominguez.

Drones are not listed among the banned items for the city of Orlando's Fireworks at the Fountain, according to its website. The downtown event will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

But the city of Orlando said unless someone has an aeronautical activities permit it would be illegal to fly a drone in the city and they could be cited.

The Orlando Eye prohibits drones on the property or in air above the complex. Kissimmee said drones were not allowed with a permit and they cannot be flown close to the airport. Mount Dora said no drones were allowed due to safety issues.

Last year, a YouTube video recorded by a drone in the middle of a fireworks display went viral.

Drone records fireworks