Preparations underway for 29th annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration
The following is a news release from the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration.
IDAHO FALLS — With firework finales set to amaze Americans from sea to shining sea, you won’t find a bigger Independence Day firework show west of the Mississippi River than at the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
The 2022 Melaleuca Freedom Celebration features 18,237 high-flying, ground-shaking fireworks that will light up the night sky to pay tribute to America’s Founding Fathers and those who have fought for our country. It begins Monday, July 4, at 10:03 p.m., at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls.
One of the Top Fireworks Shows in America
The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is nationally recognized as one of the best fireworks shows in the United States. Melaleuca guarantees it rivals the largest shows in the nation, including Boston, Washington D.C, and Philadelphia, as measured by the sheer number of shells in the air.
Firing an average of 9.8 shells per second for 31 minutes, this awe-inspiring fireworks display is synchronized shell-for-shell and note-for-note with a patriotic soundtrack that honors the history of our nation and the men and women who fought and died for our freedom. The synchronized soundtrack of popular and symphonic music, historic audio clips, and spoken word will be played live on KLCE Classy 97 FM. If spectators aren’t listening to the soundtrack, they’ll miss the fundamental meaning and choreography of the show.
The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), the nation’s leading fireworks group, monitors the largest fireworks shows across the country. APA Executive Director Julie Heckman made the following statement about last year’s show:
“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. 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.’”
To ensure the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration continues to be the largest July Fourth fireworks show west of the Mississippi, Melaleuca has once again increased its budget to surpass any previous show.
When asked why Melaleuca continuously funds this free fireworks display, Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot said, “In America, it’s easy to take our freedoms for granted. 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. The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration was created to honor those heroes and their families. 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.”
Made In the USA
Just like last year, the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is proud to announce the vast majority of the fireworks in this year’s show were made in the USA!
Sourcing this much product from an American fireworks manufacturer is rarely done. In fact, U.S. companies only produce about 5% of the fireworks that make up U.S. fireworks displays, while 75% come from China. This is because it’s a time-consuming craft that typically produces small quantities and it comes with a price tag that is 25% to 100% more expensive per shell than low-cost Chinese alternatives. Despite these obstacles, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has spent the last 12 months collaborating with America’s top firework manufacturer to make sure that almost all the show’s pyrotechnics were manufactured in the U.S. A.
These American-made fireworks are known for their bright, dramatic colors and their vibrancy. For example, pinks are not faded-out reds, but they are hot pink. Aquas are not light blues, but rather a true vibrant aqua.
As a result, Melaleuca will showcase our nation’s finest fireworks, all of which are exclusive and custom-built for our spectators. Much of this year’s unique shells will only be featured here in Idaho and nowhere else in the world!
Additionally, the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration features several “firework scenes,” creating curtains of special effects that complement each other and fill the entire sky. This is the next advancement in the pyrotechnic industry, and it occurs only because our fireworks producers and manufacturers collaborated throughout the entire development process.
“Because American-made fireworks are quite expensive, it is very unusual to have them comprise the majority of a large show,” said Gobet, whose family-owned company has fired more than 10,000 shows over 74 years. “Because Melaleuca supports American manufacturing, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is the only major fireworks show I know of that does not heavily depend on China! You can’t get more patriotic than that!”
Additionally, spectators will notice the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration features five separate firing zones (rather than three zones). These five zones span hundreds of feet across the elevated launch pad at Snake River Landing—the total expanse measuring wider than two football fields. This enables the show’s designers to use the sky as an artist would use a canvas, launching fireworks across the entire nightscape, breaking wider than a thousand big screens.
Elaborate Choreography in the Sky
The skill and creativity at Western Display Fireworks, the experienced pyrotechnicians who have fired this show for 29 years, cannot be underestimated. The show’s producers deliberate over every sequence to determine which firework will best amplify the mood of the soundtrack’s patriotic message. Each year they use 3D modeling simulators to design an immersive experience, and they refine it hundreds of times to create a phenomenal pyrotechnic masterpiece.
Fireworks choreographers are like painters, and they have each have a distinctive signature. The entire pyrotechnic community stands in awe of Western Display Fireworks’ pyrotechnic artistry, elegance in the night sky, and custom approach to creating elite competition-level fireworks shows every year.
To synchronize fireworks with the music, the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration relies on the same technology used at the Olympics and the most elite fireworks competitions. As the gold standard in the pyrotechnic industry, the Galaxis Wireless Firing System synchs bursting fireworks within one one-hundredth of a second to the beats of music.
This explosive show precisely coordinates bursting fireworks with an emotional soundtrack that inspires deep appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in America. Along with the music, a narration takes the audience through key events in our nation’s history.
“The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is more than just entertainment on the Fourth of July,” Frank VanderSloot said. “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.”
The Premier Site to Host a World-Class Fireworks Show
Frank credits Ball Ventures for providing the incredible 110 acres of lush outdoor space at Snake River Landing. This is the nation’s largest amphitheater designed and dedicated specifically for a fireworks show.
“The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is one of the area’s most cherished events,” said Ball Ventures CEO Cortney Liddiard. “We are extremely appreciative of Melaleuca for allowing us to be part of this time-honored tradition that brings the community together for the 4th of July each year. Every year Ball Ventures looks forward to our chance to work with Melaleuca, Riverbend Communications, and the City of Idaho Falls to ensure another exciting and safe community gathering at Snake River Landing to celebrate our Nation’s independence.
The event attracts over 200,000 spectators to Snake River Landing and the immediate area, making it the largest single event in Idaho—by a significant margin. Adding to the experience, spectators at Snake River Landing will listen to the soundtrack over a network of over 100 large wireless speakers that Melaleuca provides exclusively for this event.
Learn more about the 29th Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration at MelaleucaFreedomCelebration.com. For information about Riverfest, which offers a variety of live music, entertainment and food options throughout the day at Snake River Landing, visit riverfestidaho.com.
Event Parking and Traffic Flow
A master traffic plan has been developed by the event’s many partners, so when the fireworks conclude traffic from each parking lot will flow in a pre-determined direction for maximum efficiency and speed.
Prior to the event, visitors should review the event parking and traffic maps at www.freedomcelebration.com/parking/ to ensure they park in the ideal spot so they can efficiently leave the event with the flow of traffic. Since traffic flows one way out of the different parking lots, event organizers encourage spectators to choose their parking spot based on the direction where they want to go after the show.