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Melaleuca Freedom Celebration Set to Dazzle Spectators with Largest Fireworks Show West of the Mississippi River

Published online: Jun 12, 2024 Events
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Each Independence Day, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration helps families pay tribute to America’s Founding Fathers, veterans and service members by illuminating Idaho’s night sky with the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi River. Offering a patriotic display with 18,505 fireworks, the 31st Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will dazzle spectators for 31 minutes and be bigger and better than any other fireworks show in the American west. 

Based on the sheer number of shells fired into the sky, the 31st Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is believed to rank in the top five Independence Day fireworks shows in the nation. This free tribute to America averages 597 shells per minute! That’s 9.9 fireworks every second! And it typically draws an audience of over 200,000 spectators. 

Attendees will want to be at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls on Thursday, July 4, when the show begins at 10:03 p.m. Melaleuca: The Wellness Company, which is headquartered in Idaho Falls, oversees this remarkable firework show and covers all the expenses.  

“The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is more than just entertainment on the Fourth of July,” said Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot. “The combination of fireworks, music and message provides magical moments of reflection and an opportunity to re-pledge allegiance to the flag that represents our nation. On a different level, it’s a heartfelt, unifying event for the community — but more importantly, it’s a tribute of gratitude to America’s heroes.” 

An inspiring soundtrack, synchronized with an array of brilliant fireworks, will honor our nation’s patriots, our valiant veterans, our selfless service members and their devoted families who have all sacrificed for us to enjoy America’s freedoms.

Visit FreedomCelebration.com to learn more about the event.

Among the Nation’s Best Fireworks

Melaleuca ’s steady commitment to this event for 31 years, demonstrated by increased labor and funding each year, has solidified its place as one of America’s most extraordinary fireworks shows. 

Out of the estimated 14,000 U.S. firework shows, including the most respected ones in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and America’s largest cities, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration ranks as one of the very top. Beyond the aerial firepower, Melaleuca ensures that the artistic choreography, the synchronization with a powerful soundtrack and a one-of-a-kind fireworks amphitheater all add up to producing a world-class competition-grade fireworks display. 

This jaw-dropping combination is why the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) repeatedly highlights the show, dubbing it a “must-see” event, and why fireworks enthusiasts travel from across the country to see it. 

“Although the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration may be off the beaten path in Idaho Falls, Idaho, it’s worth the effort to behold this remarkable, competition-caliber fireworks show,” said Julie Heckman, APA executive director. “This is one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays, and it’s been listed on the APA’s list of ‘Must-See Independence Day Fireworks Displays.’” 

USA Today, Readers Digest, Travel + Leisure, AAA Magazine, CNN, and other prominent media have featured the event. Idahoans consistently rank it as the state’s “Best Local Event,” and it’s grown in popularity to become the largest event in Idaho. 

Pyrotechnic Highlights 

This year’s fireworks will launch across five main zones spanning hundreds of feet across the elevated launch pad — the total expanse being wider than two football fields. What’s more, a new layout incorporates additional firing zones and more “V” pattern racks that create an even wider, deeper and intense theater across the sky. 

The 31st Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration features several distinctive fireworks. Many have never been seen anywhere else in the world! These shells required hours of hands-on construction, and their intensity, magnitude and volume come through in flying colors. For example, there are exclusive Chrysanthemum to Swimming Star shells with petals that transform into shimmering falling stars.

Stunning special effects will create vibrant, dramatic patterns and many more of the spectacular 8″ shells will fill the entire canvas of the night sky. Spectators will also be riveted by “firework scenes,” curtains of special effects that blanket the sky and create a unifying view at every level. 

The grand finale will be more spectacular than ever! It combines thundering salutes; red, white, and blue stars; and flower crown shells with delicate gold ornamentation. 

World-Class Technology 

For three decades, Western Display Fireworks has fired the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration along with 10,000 other shows over its 75-year history. When designing this one-of-a-kind show, our pyrotechnicians examine every second using pre-visualization software and 3D models, running hundreds of simulations. 

To ensure fireworks are perfectly synched with the soundtrack, the 31st Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration continues to use the Galaxis Wireless Firing System, launching fireworks so they explode within one one-hundredth of a second to the beats of music. This technology is the gold standard in the pyrotechnic industry and is used at the Olympics and elite fireworks competitions. 

A High-Flying Salute to America’s Heroes

The fireworks are synchronized shell for shell and note for note with an emotional soundtrack, consisting of popular and symphonic music, historic audio clips and narration.  This is broadcast live on Classy 97 KLCE. Event organizers encourage all to listen to the soundtrack on Classy 97 KLCE so that they can experience the powerful tribute that our veterans and soldiers deserve. 

At Snake River Landing, spectators will hear the soundtrack over a network of over 100 wireless speakers that Melaleuca provides for this event. 

“In America, it’s easy to take our freedoms for granted,” Frank said. “Sometimes we need to be reminded that freedom isn’t free. It came at a tremendous cost, not paid by us, but paid by the over one million men and women who have died in battle since 1776. Their lives were cut short because of their incomprehensible sacrifice.”

“Thirty-one minutes of tribute doesn’t seem like enough, but we hope it will create a feeling in our souls that will last all year,” Frank added. 

Snake River Landing: A Spectacular Site for Fireworks  

Idaho Falls is fortunate to have the nation’s only amphitheater specifically designed for a fireworks show. Frank applauds Ball Ventures for their heavy investment, constructing an incredible venue, and providing a large outdoor space at Snake River Landing. He also points out that Ball Ventures devotes hundreds, if not thousands, of hours each year to prepare the ideal environment for the community.

“For those who want a front-row seat, come to Snake River Landing as it’s the perfect place to view the fireworks display,” said Frank. “The show is all around you. You’re going to feel the ground shake beneath you.”

Restrooms, first aid stations and a family reunification area for children who become separated are all available at Snake River Landing. 

"The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is a wonderful tradition that brings our great community together each year,” said Ball Ventures Co-Managing Director and President of Real Estate Tahri Molifua. “Ball Ventures is honored to host another year of festivities at Snake River Landing. Our team is working diligently on the venue and logistics to ensure the wonderful members of our community have a safe and memorable 4th of July.”

Event Parking and Traffic Flow

The event’s various partners have developed a master traffic plan, so when the fireworks conclude, traffic from each parking lot will flow in a predetermined direction for maximum efficiency. Every year, the police demonstrate they can empty the streets much more quickly than in previous years.

Before the event, visitors should review the event parking and traffic maps at FreedomCelebration.com/Parking to ensure they park in the ideal spot so they can leave the event with the flow of traffic. Traffic flows one way out of the different parking lots, so spectators are encouraged to choose their parking spot based on the direction they want to go after the show is over. 

The master traffic plan has been developed by several agencies within the City of Idaho Falls, the Idaho Falls Police Department, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police, Idaho Transportation Department, Horrocks Engineers, Ball Ventures, Melaleuca and others.   

The 31st Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration happens after the 2024 Idaho Falls Community Hospital Riverfest, which is presented by Idaho Central Credit Union, Mountain View Hospital and Riverbend Media Group. This all-day activity features plenty of tasty food options, live music and entertainment throughout the Fourth of July at Snake River Landing.

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