Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez hosts 500-drone Hansen Dam light show, will buy back fireworks


Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez will host her third annual anonymous fireworks buyback program Saturday, July 1, in a continued effort to stop illegal fireworks — and she is sponsoring a 500-drone light show at Hansen Dam the following evening.

“We communicate every single year the importance of making sure that residents understand that fireworks in the city of Los Angeles are illegal,” Rodriguez told City News Service. “They pose a great danger to physical harm to individuals that are unprepared to deal with explosives.”

Illegal fireworks negatively impact the community, causing injury and distress to people and animals, exacerbating the environmental impact of air pollution and endangering communities in very high fire hazard severity zones, according to Rodriguez’ office.

“We don’t want to have to evacuate neighborhoods because someone was very thoughtless in utilizing these pyrotechnic for short term entertainment, but long term potential devastating impact to an entire community,” Rodriguez told City News Service.

“So, we ask people to be responsible or to use good judgment to refrain from using these items. That’s why I created this buyback program.”

On Thursday morning at the Los Angeles Police Department Mission Division, Rodriguez held a press conference alongside LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley to encourage Angelenos to partake in the buyback event, which is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday, July 1, at Brand Park, 15174 San Fernando Mission Road in Mission Hills.

Moore and Crowley explained how illegal fireworks are disposed of and how to report illegal fireworks ahead of the July 4th weekend.

Rodriguez said the city will be offering rewards in exchange for illegal fireworks, which depend on the weight and type of fireworks turned in.

Angelenos might be recipients of Dodgers tickets, Universal Studio tickets, gas cards or other options. The rewards will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis.

Fireworks can often traumatize animals, seniors and veterans, who suffer from PTSD.

“There a lot of implications and impacts, and so we’re asking the public to be responsible and turn in whatever they have,” Rodriguez said.

“If they’re in possession of these items, don’t go popping them off because you feel you already spent the money. We’re offering you an opportunity to turn it back and get something for it,” she said.

In addition, Rodriguez will also host her second annual drone light show on Sunday, July 2, at Hansen Dam as a way to celebrate the July 4th holiday without fireworks. Rodriguez said this is a “more orchestrated presentation that is done in sync with music.” Approximately 500 drones will take flight for the show.

This year’s theme will be One Los Angeles. The show will showcase things that “we love about Los Angeles that features some of the people and things that we treasure most,” Rodriguez said.

Queen Nation, a cover band for the band Queen, will headline Sunday’s festival. There’ll also be a DJ and several food trucks.

In 2021, Rodriguez authored legislation calling for a comprehensive plan to address illegal fireworks. In response to the motion, LAPD opened the online fireworks portal earlier for residents to report illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods.

Another result of the legislation is the creation of the fireworks buyback program. The program resulted more than a half ton of fireworks being voluntarily collected and removed from the streets.

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