Home / News / The finale of Saturday’s End of Summer Party, featuring food, music and children’s activities, will be an LED drone show

The finale of Saturday’s End of Summer Party, featuring food, music and children’s activities, will be an LED drone show


Elgin’s End of Summer Bash Saturday will be a unique experience for at least one of the night’s artists, hosting the city’s first drone show.

“I can definitely say I’ve never played a drone show before,” said child music artist Justin Roberts. Sounds great.

The drones are illuminated and can be programmed to create images, shapes and words against the night sky.

Roberts and Not Ready for Naptime Players is the opening act of the Bash, set at Downton Festival Park from 5 pm to 8 pm. Latin Grammy and Emmy winner Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band perform, followed by a light show.

Amanda Harris said organizations participating in the event are Side Street Studio Arts, which will provide free art kits, art-making events, and a railless train, as well as the Elgin Early Learning Partnership and the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin. , Elgin’s cultural arts and special events director.

And just like last year, there will be several food trucks selling sandwiches, meals, desserts and drinks.

The End of Summer Bash made its debut in August 2022 after the city canceled its entertainment and fireworks display for the evening of July 4, following a mass shooting in Highland Park earlier that day. The postponed event was renamed and was so successful that the city decided it should return in 2023.

“We estimate over 4,000 people attended, and everyone loved it,” Harris said. “Obviously people were looking for such an event, so we decided to bring it back.”

After the drone show was recommended by the special events team, the city hired Fly By Chicago, which has performed similar shows at Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival and elsewhere, to perform at Elgin.

“Fireworks are always a show stopper, but a drone show is new and dynamic,” Harris said.

Fly By Chicago spokesman Zack James said the show will last 9 to 11 minutes and will feature 150 individually programmed drones flying to an altitude of 400 feet. The LED light array will be visible from more than five miles away.

“We’ve never had an end-of-summer show, but we’ve been doing drone shows for two years now,” James said. “We came out of a company that has been making Elgin 4th of July fireworks for 11 years and has 34 years of fireworks experience.

“Write in Elgin and viewers can expect wonderful transforming/changing geometries and lighting effects and designs that were chosen just to highlight the uniqueness of Elgin in general. The show will flow with the music that connects to the designs.”

Adding to the fun, Harris said, there will be souvenir cups available for purchase that sync with the stage and light up to the music. Attendees can add a festive sticker to get one pour and $1 off each additional pour.

“This will be the fourth concert in our summer series where the trophies are presented,” Harris said. “People love to have something unique to Elgin that they can bring back to every event. It’s fun to see the glasses fill with event stickers and watch them light up the music.”

The fireworks display, the finale of the 2022 End of Summer Party in downtown Elgin's Festival Park, will be replaced this year by a drone light show.

Regarding her role in Bash, Roberts said her show will feature other material from her 25-year career, including puppets, interactive songs, and tunes from her latest Grammy-nominated album, “Space Cadet.” Roberts and the band will also play “Giant Butterflies on My First Day of School,” which inspired his picture book published in May.

“It’s the perfect time of year to talk about the troubles of starting a new school year,” she said. “But overall the show will be a great way for kids to de-stress, move and sing.”

To host the event, South Grove Boulevard will be closed between Prairie and National avenues from 3pm on Saturday. Parking is free in downtown Elgin and a map of the locations can be found at: cityofelgin.org/parking.

For more information on the End of Summer Bash, visit: cityofelgin.org/specialevents.

Mike Danahey is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.


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