Ace Centennial Drone Show: Pedrotti Celebrates 100 Years

There has been a quiet buzz going around town that there’s going to be something special at this year’s 4th of July celebration. We now have confirmation that the buzz is real. Gene Pedrotti of Pedrotti Ace Hardware has chosen the 4th of July weekend to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of his business. We talked to Gene about his legacy and his plan for the centennial.

BM: Pedrotti Hardware has reached its 100th year in business, what does that mean to you and the Pedrotti family?

GP: Our family has a history of giving. My grandfather and great uncles have always contributed to the community. Since the late 1800s we have participated in city government, given back to the community, and held to the belief that owning a hardware store allows you to help people with the most basic of needs – fixing and repairing stuff. My family is excited about the celebration.

BM: To what do you attribute the longevity of Pedrotti Ace Hardware?

GP: That’s easy; hard work! Every member of my family has put in 60-hour weeks since our store opened in Crockett. We have had amazing, hardworking employees, and a history of taking care of our employees and our community. Pedrotti Hardware has had doors open for over 335,000 hours and served over 5-1/2 million customers!  That’s a long time and a lot of screws and nails!

BM: We’ve heard rumors of an amazing Centennial celebration to commemorate this milestone.

GP: Yes! And I’m finally ready to talk about it. It will be amazing!

BM: What can you tell us about the event?

GP: July 3rd, Pedrotti Ace Hardware will sponsor the Ace Centennial Drone Show, a massive light show over the straits at the Benicia waterfront!  Flying three to four hundred feet high and as wide as a football field, the Ace Centennial Drone Show features hundreds of hi-tech drones armed with bright LED lights, choreographed to dance across the sky!  The show will follow the Torchlight Parade and bring joy to many, especially children!

BM: Can you give us some details?

GP: Our event producer, Verge-Aero, is a well-known and respected Philadelphia company specializing in industrial drones used in industry (inspection, real estate, tourism.) Manufacturing everything in the United States, Verge pairs their drones with sophisticated technology to create a new kind of entertainment: Aerial drone shows! These guys are Good!   In fact, so good that they recently appeared on America’s Got Talent Extreme and instantly won the gold button award putting them in AGT’s final competition. Take a look:

BM: Is the City participating in this?

GP: City officials are leveraging the Ace Centennial Drone Show by producing a full weekend of events!  The annual Torchlight Parade kicks off Sunday evening, followed by the popular local band, East Bay Mudd. Capping Sunday is the Ace Centennial Drone Show. Then on the 4th of July, there will be more entertainment and music on the waterfront, followed by our annual fireworks display after sunset.

BM: Why did you decide on July 3rd?

GP: It’s a perfect time. The Torchlight Parade attracts thousands of people already, so by adding the Ace Centennial Drone Show, we will add to that number by attracting visitors from other areas. We expect strong business for our hotels, shops, and restaurants.

BM: What else do you want Benicians to know about the Centennial celebration?

GP: This will be a weekend to celebrate, party, get together with family. We promise an exciting time for all!

Photo by John Klycinski Photography