gender reveal

Serena Williams’ gender reveal party might be the most epic drone light show yet

No matter your opinion on gender reveal parties, you have to admit this one is pretty great — as its got a drone light show at its centerpiece.

Tennis star Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, revealed the gender of their second baby in an epic drone light show over the summer of 2023. The light show was all held as part of a big outdoor party that including a DJ, dancing and a dunk tank. But the highlight of the evening was at the very end.

Toward the end of the night, Ohanian announced that they would reveal their baby’s sex “with a little style and some spectacular lights,” he said, as documenting in a YouTube video posted to Williams’ channel. Ohanian then told the crowd to “draw attention to the heavens” where drones danced in the sky. After a short bit of suspense, drones ultimately revealed their baby’s sex, spelling out “Girl!” in the sky.

Watch the epic gender reveal drone show here:

This will be not just their second baby together, but their second girl; the couple are already parents to 5-year-old daughter Olympia.

The big gender reveal party was coordinated by Jennifer Zabinski Events, a wedding and event planner who was named Vogue’s “Best Wedding Planner in the World.”

The show was created by Sky Elements, which is among the biggest drone light show companies. (They hold a special place in Drone Girl lore for putting on the first drone light show The Drone Girl herself, Sally French, saw in person).

For what it’s worth, the Serena Williams gender reveal show was on the small end as far as drone light shows go. For more over-the-top shows, don’t miss the best drone light shows of 2023 (which includes some winning entries also by Sky Elements).

The cost of a drone light show certainly varies particularly based on the number of drones involved. At one point Intel sold drone light shows starting at $99,000, but easily topping $300,000 for shows involving more than 500 drones. Some smaller, independent companies charge less though. For example, Texas-based Verge Aero says its drone shows usually cost between $50,000 to $200,000 for a customized, outdoor drone light show. 

And drone light shows have becoming increasingly popular at theme parks and festivals, often as a fireworks replacement (or at least augmentation of fireworks). For example, The spring 2023 Marvel drone show at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris uses a mix of fireworks, projections and drones to display an incredible sensory experience featuring superheroes including Captain America, Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch and, for the first time at Disneyland Paris, Shang-Chi.

Many have thought drones to be cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than fireworks, suggesting that they should more certainly replace traditional forms of nighttime entertainment.

And given the high number of gender reveal party mishaps (often involving some sort of confetti canon or other explosives gone that result in fires or injuries), it seems like maybe drones may be the best way to conduct a gender reveal, too.

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