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Tahoe-Area Drone Light Shows Canceled Due To Weather

NORTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) -- Unseasonable weather has forced officials in North Lake Tahoe to cancel the drone light shows planned in celebration of Independence Day this weekend.

The shows were scheduled for Sunday in King Beach and Monday in Tahoe City, but aviation forecasts call for winds and wind gusts at flight levels to be significantly higher than allowable limits for the drone to safely fly over Lake Tahoe.

As part of its operational requirements through the FAA and its insurance, Great Lakes Drone Company is required to rely on federal aviation weather data that takes terrain effects and altitude into consideration as well as other FAA guidelines when making flight decisions, according to a press release.
The North Tahoe Business Association, Tahoe City Downtown Association, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, regional meteorologists and operators of the Great Lakes Drone Company all participated in the decision to postpone the shows.
"This decision did not come easily, nor is it something that the collective group took lightly," Tony Karwowski, NLTRA president and CEO, said in an announcement Friday.
"Unfortunately, the predicted wind models haven't changed over the past several days, and reports indicate a 98 percent probability the drones will be unable to fly over the lake on July 3 and July 4 within safe operational limits.
"Knowing how popular North Lake Tahoe is over the July 4 holiday, postponing the shows now instead of waiting to call it off at the last minute is the right thing to do for our community."
The collaborative group discussed several ideas to determine what would be best for the North Lake Tahoe region and determined that postponing early would allow residents, visitors and businesses to make other plans to celebrate the holiday. Plans to reschedule the drone shows to Labor Day weekend are already being evaluated.
"Postponing the July 4 drone show in Tahoe City was certainly not something we wanted to have to do, but we're working hard to try to secure other entertainment options in Tahoe City for revelers to celebrate and support our business community," said Katie Biggers, Tahoe City Downtown Association executive director.
"From a stewardship perspective and to give our business community time to try to make alternate plans, we didn't want to wait until the last minute to make the call."
Incline Village's drone shows on Monday are still scheduled as planned, and will take place over the middle school ball fields with significantly less exposure to the wind gusts expected to occur along the North Lake Tahoe shoreline.
For the most up to date information on the Incline Village celebration and drone show, visit


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