Three very quiet cheers for The Sound at Cypress Waters, who are taking a new approach to celebrating 4th of July at that every city should follow.
They're calling it a "Sensory Sensitive Independence Day Celebration" — a long way of saying two wonderful words: silent fireworks.
At this North Dallas destination, they're replacing traditional fireworks with a colorful patriotic laser light show at dark.
The celebration will take place on Sunday, July 3, at the Rogers-O’Brien Amphitheater and will provide a fun and safe alternative to people and pets who deal with noise sensitivity.
"For this celebration we have taken detailed consideration to make this event sensory-friendly and accessible to those who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, noise aversions, sensory processing issues, and even our four-legged family members who want to participate with us," their release says.
Finding alternatives to traditional fireworks has not yet become a big trend, but that's only because people are unaware of the repercussions. Some cities on the West Coast and in Europe, as well as animal advocates, have lobbied for their use.
Fireworks are brutal for animals, generating fear and anxiety and an urge to flee. According to the ASPCA, more dogs get lost on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, making July 5 the busiest day of the year at animal shelters across the U.S.
Recent years have seen an increasing awareness of the effect fireworks can have on people with autism, and combat veterans suffering from PTSD.
Alternatives range from nearly silent displays with sparklers and roman candles to light shows where noise is not a factor.
Lucy Billingsley, Partner at Billingsley Company, says they hope to make it a tradition. Go Lucy!
"We are extremely excited to bring this special event to the DFW Metro, and we hope this starts a tradition of creating a comfortable and festive setting for families and friends who are challenged with these sensitivities," Billingsley says. "With ample green space, reflections of the lake and retail areas for dining, we felt like The Sound at Cypress Waters was the perfect backdrop for this unique event."
The Sound is set on 300-acre North Lake in North Dallas, and has been designed to bring together a multi-faceted neighborhood, including multifamily, commercial, retail and event spaces.
Other elements of the 4th of July celebration will include:
- Replacing fireworks with a very patriotic laser light show to celebrate our Independence
- Training on best practices being provided to the restaurant staff by The Autism Society of Texas
- Creating calming zones for event participants to use for a break from the activities if needed
- Distributing sensory friendly items to show patriotic spirit and have fun
The event will start at 6 pm and run until 10 pm, and will include a concert by Chicago tribute band Windy City, animal education from Creature Teacher, picnics on the lawn, face painting, balloon artist, and more.