Building upon a longstanding Idaho Falls tradition, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has made its way across the Mississippi River. For the past four years on Memorial Day, Melaleuca has sponsored the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration in downtown St. Paul, MN. This year’s event brought more than one hundred thousand people to a daylong festival with over a dozen events.
Just as Southeastern Idaho residents have witnessed for several years, Twin Cities spectators were treated to a dazzling 31-minute fireworks show with nearly 15,000 shells exploding over the banks of the Mississippi River. The narration honored our country’s fallen heroes, veterans and soldiers currently serving in the Armed Forces. The fireworks display, accompanied by patriotic music and quotations played over KOOL-108 FM, was the largest show in Minnesota as well as the largest one in the nation this Memorial Day.
In addition to the fireworks, Melaleuca sponsored a series of events throughout the day. Most notable was the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration’s Minnesota National Guard Appreciation Run, consisting of a 10K race with a $5,000 cash purse and a 5K run. Nearly 450 soldiers from Minnesota National Guard units in Taji, Iraq participated remotely in the 5K and joined the Twin Cities community through a live satellite simulcast. Melaleuca arranged for deployed soldiers to talk with their families on a Jumbotron screen and send video messages back home.
Following the runs, activities flowed into a national moment of silence, two live concerts, a Veterans recognition parade, several military fly-overs by Black Hawk helicopters, F-16s and commemorative military airplanes, and other family-oriented games and activities. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty began the footraces with the soliders in Iraq, and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau and Major General Shelito spoke at a welcome home ceremony of 30 military personnel returning home from a tour of duty in Iraq.
“Hopefully, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration – whether the event is held in Idaho Falls, St. Paul or any another city – will help our country to celebrate our freedoms and remember the sacrifices of those who brought us the liberties we enjoy,” said Frank VanderSloot, Melaleuca President and CEO. “Sponsoring the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration on Memorial Day is a great privilege.”
Melaleuca’s partners in the 2005 Memorial Day Melaleuca Freedom Celebration were the City of St. Paul and Clear Channel Radio. A portion of the proceeds from this event benefited the Minnesota Military Family Foundation.
Melaleuca, The Wellness Company, is a manufacturer and distributor of more than 350 natural health, home cleaning, pharmaceutical and personal care products that are naturally based and designed to be safer and more cost-effective than grocery store brands. The company was inducted into the Inc. 500 Hall of Fame based on its record of growth and profitability. Founded in 1985, Melaleuca is a privately held company based in Idaho Falls, Idaho that generates over $600 million in annual revenue through a sales force that reaches households across North America, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Visit www.melaleuca.com for more information.