Melaleuca promises biggest fireworks show ever: ‘You haven’t seen anything like this’

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IDAHO FALLS — The 25th Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fireworks show this Independence Day will be bigger, better and more explosive than ever.

The annual event, which typically brings more than 100,000 spectators to Idaho Falls, is being held at Snake River Landing for the first time. Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot promises it will be a celebration to remember.

“We’re going to paint the entire sky with fireworks,” VanderSloot said in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com. “This is a whole different show, and you haven’t seen anything like it. It will be much louder with double the firepower in the air compared to previous shows.”

The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration outgrew its old location at the Shilo Inn along the Snake River. The move to Snake River Landing will provide 70 acres of grass for spectators to picnic, relax and enjoy the fireworks. More than 150 acres have been designated for parking, VanderSloot said.

A tentative map of how Snake River Landing will look on Independence Day. | Courtesy Melaleuca

“You have to hand it to the people at Snake River Landing,” VanderSloot said. “They have really, really stepped up and provided a venue that is second to none.”

The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will be held a quarter mile south of the businesses at Snake River Landing. The fireworks launch pad measures 300 feet by 115 feet, compared to the old launch site, which was 50 feet by 25 feet. That, along with a lack of large buildings in the area, means larger shells will be shot from the ground.

“We have always been the largest show west of the Mississippi, but this year will put Idaho Falls on the map,” VanderSloot said.

An image shows where fireworks will be launched from the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. | Courtesy Melaleuca

Melaleuca has hired world-renowned fireworks coordinator Renzo Cargnelutti from Germany to help with the show. He will use the same fireworks-firing system used in the Olympics and other large displays.

“The firing mechanism will be timed within one thousandth of a second,” VanderSloot said. “It’s really something else.”

The 31-minute show begins at dusk. It will be synced with patriotic music and narration that will air live on KLCE Classy 97.3. Spectators are encouraged to bring radios and batteries to listen to the production.

“Streaming on electronic devices will not work. There will be an 8-second delay, and it won’t match up,” VanderSloot said. “Go grab your boombox out of your attic, get your batteries and bring them with you.”

Frank VanderSloot speaks about the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. | Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com

Before the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, Riverbend Communications, home of Classy 97, Z103, 105.5-105.9 The Hawk, KBear 101, and Sunny AM, will hold the first ever Mountain View Hospital Riverfest at Snake River Landing. It will start at noon.

Families with kids of all ages are invited to attend the free event, which will feature entertainment, food, games, activities and more.

“Come with your family, put down your blanket and spend all day at Snake River Landing,” VanderSloot said.

VanderSloot said he and Melaleuca devote so much money, attention and time to the Fourth of July as a way to honor those who have served our country.

When asked the cost of the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, he said, “Compared with the price those people paid for our freedom, the cost to us is nothing. It’s all about those people and how we got our freedom.”

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