New effects to be featured in Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fireworks, company promises ‘best show ever’

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IDAHO FALLS — The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will light up the sky over Idaho Falls Thursday with over 18,000 breathtaking fireworks launched from Snake River Landing.

The display, currently the largest Independence Day fireworks show west of the Mississippi River, will feature ground-shaking pyrotechnics and never-before-seen special effects synchronized to patriotic messages and music, according to a Melaleuca news release.

“Our pyrotechnicians scout the top international firework competitions, select the most vibrant and intense products, and showcase the world’s best competition-grade fireworks right here in Idaho Falls,” Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said. “Our approach to creating one of the best fireworks shows in the country is to use the night sky above the Snake River as our canvas. We’ll paint the entire sky, from top to bottom, using every color of the rainbow and synchronizing every shell and every note with the soundtrack.”

The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has earned the American Pyrotechnics Association’s recognition as a “must-see Independence Day firework display” in 2017 and 2018, and USA Today, Travel + Leisure magazine, and Yahoo! have featured it as one of the best firework displays in America.

This year’s show will include new special effects like stained-glass patterns, twinkling diamonds that morph into stars, glittering fish, silver bees and color-changing shells that sweep across the sky.

“Last year, the event brought 200,000 spectators to Idaho Falls, tripling the town’s population and making it the largest event in Idaho. This year, police expect the crowd to grow even more as the police proved last year they can empty the streets much more quickly than in previous years,” the news release said.

The fireworks show begins at 10 p.m. and lasts for 31 minutes. To precisely coordinate fireworks with the musical soundtrack, pyrotechnicians will use the most sophisticated firing system in the world. This same technology has been used at the Olympics and other elite firework competitions and officials say it accurately syncs the fireworks within one-hundredth of a second to the soundtrack.

The elevated launch pad at Snake River Landing is twice as long as a football field, allowing fireworks to span across the ground and across the sky.

“Idaho Falls is the only city in America with an amphitheater designed specifically for the Independence Day fireworks show,” the news release said.

This year’s program will take the audience through key events in our nation’s history while inspiring a deeper sense of patriotism. It will honor veterans, soldiers and their families.

Those attending the event at Snake River Landing will hear the program through a network of 100 high-powered, 1000-watt wireless speakers provided by Melaleuca. The soundtrack will be broadcast live on Classy 97, which has carried the program for the last 27 years.

“Classy 97 is part of the Idaho Falls tradition,” VanderSloot says. “If you don’t listen to the patriotic message, you will miss the whole meaning of the event and you will go home without experiencing the tribute that veterans deserve. So bring your radio!,” VanderSloot said.

He added, “We are celebrating liberty while remembering the ultimate price paid by men and women who we’ll never know and whose stories will never be told. Their lives were cut short because of their sacrifice for us. We are so grateful! We just want to use these 31 minutes to tell them thank you. The hundreds of thousands in attendance increase the intensity of our tribute to them.”

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