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A drone light show scheduled for July 10 and July 11 in Ketchum will feature colorful drones aligned to create familiar and abstract images.

If you missed out on fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday, or if you’re looking for more, the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum will give people in the Wood River Valley additional chances to see bright colors light up the night sky.

This weekend, The Argyros will present the first-ever drone light shows in Ketchum. The event—called “The Journey of Light”—is scheduled for Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11, with shows starting both nights at 10 p.m.

The shows will feature some 200 specialized, lighted drones being launched from Atkinson Park, near the Hemingway STEAM School. The drones will be directed 400 feet into the air and synchronized into a colorful, 10-minute show that will be visible from a variety of points around town.

The shows will be the first of their kind in Ketchum, said Casey Mott, executive director of The Argyros.

“The idea of doing something unprecedented was really exciting to us,” Mott said.

“The Journey of Light” shows will feature two segments choreographed to two songs that people can listen to by tuning into the KDPI radio station—at 88.5 FM—or by visiting kdpifm.org. The songs are “Jupiter” by Gustav Holst and “City of Blinding Lights” by U2. Mott encouraged viewers to listen to the soundtrack to get the full experience of the show.

The show opens with the drones forming a colorful schematic of our solar system, Mott said. The first part of the show has a “telescoping narrative,” he said, with imagery that “zooms in and out.” Some of the images are difficult to place, but others—like the American flag—will be highly recognizable.

The second half of the show is more abstract and “psychedelic,” Mott said.

The shows will be visible from much of Ketchum and the River Run area, said Margaret Hamamoto, marketing and development director for The Argyros. They will likely not be visible from the Warm Springs side of town.

The two shows will be conducted by a team of experts from Sky Elements, a Texas company that specializes in drone displays.

The idea for doing the shows was conceived last winter, Hamamoto said, when the COVID-19 pandemic was still stifling live, indoor performances and the future looked uncertain. With audience protocols and group sizes in question for the months ahead, staff of the organization hatched the idea of an outdoors event that the wider public could enjoy. The process involved some “out-of-the-box thinking,” Mott said.

“We just wanted to do a fun, outdoors event that is safe,” Hamamoto said. “It will be a really fun, cool thing.”

“The Journey of Light” event follows an Argyros fundraising event on Friday, July 9. Some attendees of the fundraiser are sponsoring a drone for $500 each, Hamamoto said.

While the drone shows are free to the public, people can donate to—or simply learn more about—The Argyros at theargyros.org.

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