IDAHO FALLS — Plans are underway and the finishing touches are being made for the biggest fireworks show west of the Mississippi River.
The 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will light up the night sky Monday at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls. The show will feature 18,237 “high-flying, ground-shaking” fireworks to pay tribute to America’s Founding Fathers and those who have fought for our country.
“We’ve added to the budget,” Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Last year is the first year we went almost all American shells and again, this year, the vast majority of all the shells you’ll see were made here in America. What American fireworks give us is more vibrant colors. The powder to set them off is about the same and the size of the shells are about the same, but the colors are more vibrant.”
Officials expect around 200,000 people will watch the 31-minute fireworks display, which begins at 10:03 p.m. on July 4 and is synchorinzed to a patriotic soundtrack on KLCE 97.3.
Over 110 acres of grass space is available at Snake River Landing for viewing, making it the nation’s largest amphitheater designed and dedicated specifically for a fireworks show.
“Our freedoms were not free. They were paid for by a horrendous price of over a million men and women who have given their lives,” VanderSloot explains. “The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is to celebrate those lives and their families. The children who lost their fathers and the wives whose husbands didn’t come home. We’re paying tribute to all of those who sacrifice.”
Watch our entire interview with VanderSloot in the video player above.