The 21st Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration: One of America's Biggest 4th of July Fireworks Shows

A Taste of Minnesota, the state’s largest FREE festival, and Melaleuca, sponsor of the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration in Saint Paul for the past four years, are teaming up to make the already-famed fireworks display at Taste even better in 2006.  The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will be the largest fireworks show in Minnesota, and it will be dedicated as a special salute to our country’s veterans and soldiers.

“The fireworks at A Taste of Minnesota are always among the country’s best displays.  USA Today consistently recognizes us as one of the top places to be on the Fourth of July,” said John Labosky, president of the Capital City Partnership, which owns A Taste of Minnesota.  “Now with our partnership with Melaleuca, this year’s fireworks display will be even more spectacular.”

The event, which runs June 30 to July 4, has been named one of the nation’s 10 best places to watch Independence Day fireworks for four consecutive years by USA Today.  The fireworks, which are coordinated by Melrose Pyrotechnics, begin nightly at approximately 10:15 p.m.  The July 4 display will be the longest and largest show in the state, with more than 15,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky over Harriet Island.

“Melaleuca is partnering with A Taste of Minnesota because it recognizes the importance of celebrating our national heritage, our patriotism and the everyday freedoms that we enjoy,” said Frank VanderSloot, president and CEO of Melaleuca, a personal care products company based in Idaho. VanderSloot is a former resident of Apple Valley.  “Taste provides an opportunity to honor our veterans and soldiers and pay tribute to the many individuals who have sacrificed in establishing our freedoms.”

In addition, on July 4 the display will feature a special musical simulcast on longtime Taste partner KQRS Radio.  Taste visitors are strongly encouraged to bring along their personal radios to hear inspirational music and messages about the heroes who shaped this great nation.

“The simulcast will be something really exceptional for the tens of thousands of people watching – and listening to – Taste’s fireworks on the Fourth,” said Brook Johnson, KQRS marketing director.

Patriotism at the 2006 Taste

This year’s Taste will also give visitors other memorable opportunities to thank, remember and recognize veterans, active duty personnel and the people who serve to protect us on American soil:

•     By popular demand, the 9/11 exhibition will return in cooperation with retired members of the New Jersey Port Authority and sponsored by JLT Group, developer of The Bridges of Saint Paul.  (This was a Taste exhibit in 2002.)  It includes a collection of stories and objects from September 11, 2001 in New York City.

•     For the second straight year, volunteers representing the Fort Snelling Military Museum will be on hand with displays of vehicles and equipment.  Sponsors are The Bridges of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Port Authority.

•     The Saint Paul Port Authority will also sponsor a welcoming ceremony on the opening day of the event (more details to come).

“We’ve worked with the various branches of the military since Taste began, and we’ve also worked closely with the people who protect us in our own communities,” said Ron Maddox, the festival’s founder and general manager.  “We want people to enjoy themselves at Taste and to also remember what freedom is all about.”

This will be Melaleuca’s fifth consecutive year sponsoring fireworks on Saint Paul’s Harriet Island.  In prior years, the company hosted a 31-minute show recognized as the nation’s largest fireworks display on Memorial Day.

About Melaleuca

Melaleuca, The Wellness Company, enhances lives by developing, manufacturing and marketing more than 350 natural health and wellness products. These health, home cleaning, pharmaceutical and personal care products are designed to be safer and more cost-effective than grocery store brands. Melaleuca markets its products through word of mouth referrals from its own happy customers. The company shares its profits with those customers who refer new customers.  Last month, Melaleuca distributed over 200,000 checks to its customers in North America and an additional 50,000 checks to its customers overseas. Visit www.melaleuca.com for more information.

About A Taste of Minnesota

Please visit www.tasteofmn.org for more information, and watch for additional announcements in the coming weeks about more great entertainment and activities at this year’s A Taste of Minnesota.

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