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Laser light show will highlight New Year's Eve party in Lakewood Ranch

Waterside Place will host 150 drones to create an impressive welcome to 2024.

Sky Elements Drones will create a laser light show, like the one above, to cap a New Year's Eve Celebration at Waterside Place.
Sky Elements Drones will create a laser light show, like the one above, to cap a New Year's Eve Celebration at Waterside Place.
Image courtesy of Sky Elements Drones
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Normally if you were seeing champagne glasses in the sky on New Year's Eve, you might wonder if you had one too many.

On Dec. 31 at Waterside Place, it just will be part of the show.

Lakewood Ranch Community Activities has hired Sky Elements Drones to create a laser light show that will highlight a New Year's Eve Celebration that will be free to everyone in the community.

It will cap a night of music and dancing with DJ Truth, food and beverage vendor booths, and games for kids and adults. The event begins at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight.

It is the second consecutive year Lakewood Ranch Community Activities is hosting the New Year's Eve Celebration, but last year didn't feature the laser light show.

"Last year, we were sticking our toe in the water," said Keith Pandeloglou, the president and CEO of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities. We had about 1,500 people last year."

That turnout showed Pandeloglou they had a growing hit and the Community Activities board decided to expand with the laser light show.

Pandeloglou said it is easy to see why a local party would be attractive to Lakewood Ranch residents.

"Myself, I have no interest in figuring out how to get home (on New Year's Eve)," Pandeloglou said.

He said the idea for a New Year's Eve party came up years ago, but it was agreed that it would be smart to wait for Waterside Place to open.

Pandeloglou said three distinct groups of people attended the event last year. He said a 6-8 p.m. crowd came to enjoy a family dinner early. An 8-10 p.m. crowd went out to dinner somewhere else, then came to Waterside Place to enjoy the music and the party. Then a 10-midnight crowd showed up for the party.

This year a Kidz Zone has been added to make the event more attractive to families.

But Pandeloglou said the main draw will be the laser light show, which should convince many people to stay late into the night.

"This drone show is pretty cool," Pandeloglou said. "This is a nationwide company that will be flying 10 to 15 people here to do this. This concept is safer (than fireworks) and eco friendly. It uses very cool technology. They will use 150 drones in the show. The drone will use different colors and will create designs. You will see traditional New Year's eve (items), like champagne glasses in the sky. You will see 2023 and it will change to 2024, and there will be a countdown (to the new year)."

The laser show begins at 11:50 p.m. and runs to 12:02 a.m.

The island park at Waterside Place will not be open as it will take all he green space there to set up the drones.

Pandeloglou said anything over 1,500 attendees will be considered a success.

"You need two, three or four year to get something like this established.," Pandeloglou said.

To pay for the laser light show, Pandeloglou said funds were reallocated from holiday specific events at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. He said the board decided too many of those events were a repeat.



Jay Heater

Jay Heater is the managing editor of the East County Observer. Overall, he has been in the business more than 41 years, 26 spent at the Contra Costa Times in the San Francisco Bay area as a sportswriter covering college football and basketball, boxing and horse racing.

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