In celebration of its Silver Anniversary, the 2017 Melaleuca Freedom Celebration promises to deliver a more spectacular fireworks show than ever before.
For more than a decade, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has been the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi River, offering more firepower (more fireworks shot) than any other western city, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, and Houston.
Creating one of the biggest and best fireworks shows in America has been a longstanding tradition for Melaleuca. Over the last 25 years, Melaleuca, The Wellness Company has increased the show’s budget each year to ensure it remains the largest display west of the Mississippi River. Last year, Melaleuca fired 17,550 fireworks in a 31-minute production on the Greenbelt over the banks of the Snake River.
Melaleuca is announcing that it has become necessary to change the venue of the launch site for the fireworks.
“The Greenbelt has been a wonderful venue for the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration for 24 years, and families have made wonderful memories there,” Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said. “There’s so much value in tradition, and that’s why we’ve waited several years longer than we originally considered to make this change.”
“But each year, the trees along the Greenbelt and the surrounding area have gotten taller,” VanderSloot said. “And in order to have people be able to see the fireworks, we have had to increase the size of the shells so they fire higher in the air. But since the site is surrounded by homes and businesses, we are restricted by code and common sense to limit the size of the shells we fire to 4 inches. We would like to fire much larger shells. But tall trees, homes and buildings don’t mix well with large fireworks.”
“Because of surrounding buildings, the slightest wind makes it unsafe to launch the fireworks,” VanderSloot added. “Each year, we hold our breath until the last minute, never knowing for sure if the winds will die down enough to allow us to launch the show safely. And that is with 4 inch shells. The best special effects take a much larger shell than 4 inches. If we want to experience the best that the latest science in pyrotechnics has to offer, we have to move the show to a safer location. We feel the time has come to take the show to the next level. People will see why we made this move next year.”
“We have known for some time that it was going to be necessary to move the show as the trees have become larger and larger shells were needed to get above the trees,” VanderSloot said. “Our hesitancy has been that we recognize the nostalgia that people feel toward the Greenbelt. We feel the same connection to the Greenbelt. But safety concerns and the heights of the trees are forcing us to change the location.”
Melaleuca is excited to announce that it will substantially expand the size of next year’s event, which will include several dramatic changes. Spectators will enjoy greater cutting-edge pyrotechnics, dizzyingly higher fireworks and even more vibrant special effects.
In years past, limited space restricted the show to a single firing zone. However, new plans call for simultaneously launching fireworks from multiple zones across several hundred feet, which will provide a wider theater of fireworks in the night sky. The average size of the fireworks will significantly increase, causing them to fly hundreds of feet higher and burst much wider than previously seen. These higher-flying fireworks will showcase some of the latest special effects found anywhere in the world.
To accommodate these new enhancements and continue providing spectators with an extraordinary fireworks display, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will move to a different location in or near Idaho Falls. Melaleuca, its pyrotechnic vendor Western Display Fireworks, and the City of Idaho Falls are partnering to evaluate potential locations.
The partners anticipate announcing their final decision on the new site for next year’s event by January 2017.
The ideal location will accommodate tens of thousands of people and offer them clear sight lines in every direction. It will also provide a wider firing line to launch multiple zones at once and a larger fallout area to safely catch firework debris.
Western Display Fireworks, which has supplied the event’s fireworks since the beginning, is thrilled about making a change.
“We’ve spent considerable time examining different locations in Idaho Falls, and we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that are available,” said Heather Gobet, president of Western Display Fireworks. “Finding a new site allows us to include a number of new products that Southeast Idaho has never seen before and incorporate many design elements that the previous site simply didn’t allow. The fireworks will be bigger and better, while maintaining the highest levels of safety for the public and our crew.”
The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has enjoyed a strong partnership with the City of Idaho Falls, whose cooperation over the years has made the event a national success. The event ranks as one of the country’s top fireworks displays, driving a massive amount of tourism to Idaho Falls each Independence Day.
“The City of Idaho Falls has long been proud to partner with Melaleuca in providing a world-class fireworks display,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “Their investment in our community has entertained millions over the years, instilling a deeper sense of patriotism and appreciation for our veterans, soldiers, and their families. With the exciting changes to come, I look forward to the next Fourth of July in Idaho Falls.”