The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, the largest Independence Day fireworks show west of the Mississippi River, dazzled over 200,000 people with a high-flying, ground-shaking, adrenaline-filled fireworks display on Saturday.
Now in its 28th year, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration wowed the massive audience with heart-pounding, patriotic pyrotechnics bursting into the skies. Called a “must-see Independence Day fireworks display” by the American Pyrotechnics Association, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration pays tribute to America’s Founding Fathers, veterans, service members, and their families.
A day of fun
The pre-festivities started early in the day, with families enjoying great food, activities, live entertainment, and helicopter rides at Riverfest. Then, as the sun began to set, the crowd settled into lawn chairs and blankets, dotting acres of lawn, in preparation for the spectacular fireworks show.
“This is definitely one of the highlights we look forward to every year,” said Megan Watson, who brought her five children to the event. “Not only is it a totally fun time for our kids, but it is the perfect way to celebrate America.”
Held in an outdoor venue specifically designed to host a world-class fireworks show, the 31-minute production featured over 18,000 shells bursting in sync, note-for-note, with an inspiring soundtrack. The soundtrack, with an inspiring patriotic narration, was broadcast live on 97.3 KLCE FM and was heard on over 100 speakers distributed throughout the crowd.
“Best Annual Event”
A few days before the show, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration was named the “Best Annual Event” in the Post Register Readers’ Choice: Best of 2021 award series. With winners nominated and selected by thousands of Post Register readers, this is the third time in as many years that Melaleuca has earned the honor.
“It’s worth the effort to behold this remarkable, competition-caliber fireworks show,” American Pyrotechnics Association Executive Director Julie Heckman said. “This is one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays, and it’s appeared twice on the APA’s list of ‘must-see Independence Day fireworks displays’. It may be the only city in America that has made such a large investment in the overall fireworks experience for spectators.”