Fireworks are a longtime staple of summertime fun. Whether they’re set off to celebrate Independence Day, add an exclamation point to the end of an exciting baseball game, or enhance a music festival, fireworks have been experienced by millions of Americans.

One well-known East Coast beach town took an innovative step toward making the experience fresh for visitors in 2021. Inspired by uberpopular drone shows overseas, Ocean City, Maryland, debuted its own drone show, which replaced the town’s summer series fireworks for the season. But can the remote-controlled version elicit the oohs and aahs of traditional pyrotechnics?

Seeing is believing. The Ocean City Drone Show, which is performed weekly both uptown and downtown, is a jaw-dropping display of computer wizardry. The company creating the show, TEAM Productions, spent hundreds of hours programming two hundred drones to synchronize and make images in the night sky.

Amping up the experience is the fact that many of the displays are animated. Among the moving images during the twelve-minute show are a Ferris wheel, a Maryland crab flailing its arms, a dolphin jumping in and out of the water, and, of course, an American flag waving.

The Ocean City Drone Show, which runs from mid-June through mid-August, is a must-see if you visit this town located just south of Delaware. When you go, make sure to get there early to get a good seat with a view—tens of thousands of people took in the show last year. You might just find that this modern take on fireworks is the much-needed wave of the future.

For more info, visit