Firework Show Cancellation

Melaleuca Freedom Celebration and Riverfest canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

Published online: May 14, 2020 Articles
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IDAHO FALLS – Event organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel Riverfest and the 28th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration due to restrictions brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic. The decision of the event team and Melaleuca CEO VanderSloot came after exploring alternative sites that could hold a world-class fireworks show and allow viewers to practice social distancing. 

As part of the process, the event organizers considered launching the fireworks from a high ridge in the Ammon foothills, allowing spectators to watch the fireworks from virtually anywhere and from miles away. Arrangements had been made with a land-owner in case the site was approved by Bonneville County.

Working with county officials, the City of Idaho Falls, and the Idaho Falls Fire Department, which has a fire protection service agreement to protect this particular spot, the team vetted the site. Although the location had advantages such as impressive sightlines of the fireworks, the Fire Chief concluded the risk to life, property and the environment would be too great.   

“I was so excited about [the fireworks show],” VanderSloot said. “I thought it would be the ideal solution, but we couldn't pull it off due to fire safety. And everybody tried, but it's too dangerous. The winds are too high and that mountain side on a dry summer day is dangerous if it catches fire.”

As disappointing as many will find the cancellation of the fireworks show to be, VanderSloot promises that next year won’t disappoint. In high spirits he shared, “We’re committed to coming back with a big bang in 2021!”


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