It used to be that pretty much anybody could throw a party on the fourth of July. All it required was a few hot dogs, great friends and a box of sparklers to entertain the kids as the sun went down.
By the early 90’s, dozens of small communities around the area started upping the game by offering more organized events, and individuals began crossing state lines in their quest to purchase bigger and better firecrackers… all in the name of independence. This quest for a bigger boom has even sparked friendly rivalries between the sponsors of the Pocatello and Idaho Falls celebrations as to who really has the biggest show.
But there is one, can’t miss event of the year that combines small town Americana with an absolutely stunning display of music and fireworks… and boasts the best show of them all.
Located in the shadow of the majestic Grand Tetons, Huntsman Springs Resort hosts their Celebrate America event each year on the Saturday before the Fourth of July in the city of Driggs. Although a relatively new player in the Independence Day game, Huntsman Springs has come on strong hosting a full day of activities, food, and fun for the entire family, and capping off the event with one of the biggest firework displays in all of Eastern Idaho. Projected to have over 25,000 people in attendance, this could be one of the biggest years yet for the patriotic extravaganza. And the best part is, the entire event is open to everyone free of charge.
The visionary behind Celebrate America and founder of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Jon Huntsman envisioned this event as a way to give back to the communities of Victor and Driggs where he had spent time in his youth and had made lasting impressions on he and his family. During his address to the crowd last year, Mr. Huntsman recognized the trying times that many in the Teton Valley had been dealt, stating that he believes that “everyone deserves to have a great day,” and hoped that his gift to the community could lift the spirits of “the great people of Southeast Idaho.”
The daytime portion of the event kicks off Saturday morning featuring a world class hypnotist, BMX stunt teams, a wild west show, pig racing, dunk tanks, musicians, comedians, a classic car display, a show stopping air show, over 20 bounce houses for the kids and much more. And of course, don’t forget the food. Classic vendors are on hand throughout the day to provide all your favorite treats from corn dogs to funnel cakes.
Dozens of activities are offered to suit every age and style throughout the day, but what truly sets the Celebrate America event apart is their amazing fireworks show. As the sun begins it’s slow decent behind the foothills, the swelling crowd gathers on the driving range in front of a massive stage to honor America. The evenings program incorporates music and patriotic messages from celebrity guests and honors veterans from the area who have served overseas.
As darkness envelops the valley, the show everyone has been waiting for begins; fireworks envelop the entire driving range, shaking the very ground the audience is seated on. The topography of Huntsman Springs allows for a much more personal show than any other you have ever experienced. Close proximity effects fire off the stage in conjunction with huge shells bursting overhead… and the inclusion of dramatic video pieces shown on giant screens that flank the stage add a powerful dimension that no one else has the ability to duplicate. This truly is a show to behold and is guaranteed not to leave a dry eye in the house.
As Jon Huntsman said, “everyone deserves a great day”, and you’re bound to find one at this years Celebrate America event. To learn more about the Huntsman Springs Resort and this years schedule, visit their website at www.celebrateamericaevent.com.
Photos courtesy I.E. Productions