Planning for the Luminosity Light Festival in Ocean Beach Continues – Next Meeting: Wed., Sept. 28

by on September 23, 2022 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Mike James

In 1980, as president of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association (formerly Merchants Association), I proposed that the organization sponsor the 4th of July fireworks off of the Ocean Beach pier.

The fireworks became a community tradition until 2019 when the event was cancelled due to structural issues to the pier.

That same year in an O.B Rag article, I suggested the community begin exploring an alternative for the fireworks.

I noted in the article, there was not only the issue with the pier, but there were concerns with the negative impact fireworks have on the environment. There was also the issue of the noise being detrimental to the welfare of animals and individuals suffering from PTSD.

Over the past few years I began researching lighting festivals from throughout the world. In July of this year, I became further inspired by Imperial Beach replacing their fireworks with a drone show.

Shortly after, I launched the Luminosity project on social media. It would be the light festival I dreamt about in 2019 that would replace the fireworks I first championed forty three years ago.

I then recruited local resident Tricia Tellier Gaut to become my co-chair for Luminosity after she expressed interest in the event and because of her decades of event management experience with the Gaslamp Quarter Association.

The community response on social media has been overwhelmingly positive, encouraging Tricia and me to move forward.

A steering committee has been chosen made up of local individuals who have expertise in managing events, working with governmental agencies, fundraising, marketing as well as in lighting.

One committee member, local architect Steven Lombardi, has even created a light sculpture at the prestigious Amsterdam Light Festival.

The initial proposal on what Luminosity will look like, includes three interchangeable elements; Drone Show, Laser Show and Art Installations.

Being that this is the first year, Luminosity will scale and adjust based on funding and community consensus.

The Luminosity steering committee is asking for your input. They are also looking for individuals who like to serve on one of the committees.

If you would like to know more, we will be holding our second community meeting at Rincon Brewery on Wednesday September 28 at 6 pm.

There is also a survey link and a sign-up form for the Luminosity newsletter at

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist September 23, 2022 at 4:01 pm

My initial response to this is thumbs up, and I’ll look fwd to reading more about it on the internet. I’ve been really impressed with some of the drone shows I’ve seen in recent years- obvs, some of the Olympics events, and one in particular, in Scotland , in celebration of their NY’s event, Hogmanay. Having said that, I’m curious about the sort of ‘footprint” these drone display involve? Would love to read more about that? Certainly, as an alternative to the noise, smoke, and pollution in surrounding waters that fireworks displays create, this seems a wonderful alternative. I’m sure the ‘buzz kill” police will weigh in, as I know the fireworks issue is contentious, but I like the receptive and creative attempts to substitute alternatives.


Brenda McFarlane September 24, 2022 at 12:33 pm

I second the drone show idea. Check this one out at Burning Man


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