Article in Idaho Falls Magazine

Freedom Celebration FAQ: Explosive details of Melaleuca’s fireworks show

Melaleuca Fireworks

Photo from Idaho Falls Magazine

The Fourth of July will be here faster than you think; have you made your plans for the day yet? Attending the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fireworks show at the Greenbelt is a no-brainer, but did you know that there’s more to the party than fireworks alone? Everything you need to know about Melaleuca’s commemoration of our nation’s heroes is right here at your fingertips.

What is the schedule of the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration?

Melaleuca Freedom Celebration Schedule (all times approximate)

7:00 p.m. Doors Open at the Shilo Inn (all guests must present a ticket and receive a wristband)
7:45 p.m. Presentation of Colors, playing of the National Anthem, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
8:00-9:00 p.m. Buffet Dinner
8:50 – 9:00 p.m. Introductions of Honored Guests
9:00-10:00 p.m. Freedom Symphony program (The Freedom Symphony will play along the banks of the Snake River at the Shilo Inn. Under the direction of Eric Wenstrom, conductor of the Teton Chamber Orchestra, the symphony will offer a one-hour long program of patriotic and popular music.)
10:00-10:31 p.m. Melaleuca Freedom Celebration Fireworks with Musical Accompaniment over KLCE 97.3 FM

The 2013 Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will be the biggest show that Melaleuca has ever sponsored in the event’s 21-year history. We will launch 17,261 fireworks into the night’s sky during a 31-minute spectacular. As measured by the sheer number of shells fired into the night sky, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is the nation’s largest fireworks show West of the Mississippi and one of America’s biggest and best firework displays for pure pyrotechnic firepower, averaging over nine shells per second.

Why does Melaleuca sponsor the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration?

The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration honors America and, in particular, the more than one million servicemen and women who died in our country’s wars to protect our freedom.
“We take our freedoms for granted when, in reality, they came at a horrible price,” Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said. “This is about taking 31 minutes out to say thank you to those who paid that price.”
VanderSloot encourages spectators to listen to the patriotic program that will be broadcast on KLCE Classy 97.3 FM in concert with the pyrotechnics. The program’s message is the main reason why Melaleuca puts so much effort into this celebration.
“You will miss the entire meaning of the show if you do not bring your radio and listen to the message. It encourages all of us to take pride in being Americans and to never forget those who created what we have,” VanderSloot said.

What is new about this year’s show?

The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration builds on its own momentum each year, adding more fireworks with each passing show. The 2013 show will be its largest yet, firing 108 more shells than last year’s record-breaking show. All of the new shells are devoted to adding even more thunderous, high-flying fireworks. Most of these larger shells will reach over 400 feet in elevation.

How are the fireworks launched?

The fireworks display will be digitally fired from four zones simultaneously through a computer. The pyrotechnics are computer-fired and choreographed note for note and shell for shell. Adding to the program is a narration that takes the audience through key events in our nation’s history, blending in voice recordings of famous heroes and statesmen.

How many people are expected to attend the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration?

Each year the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is the largest event in all of Idaho based on the number of people in attendance. The Idaho Falls Police Department expects that more than 100,000 people will attend the 2013 event, which is nearly double the city’s population. There have been years when the Idaho Falls Police Department has estimated that significantly more than 100,000 participated in the event. Thousands of people from Idaho and from out of state attend the annual event.

Is the fireworks show free? What about the banquet and symphony?

While the fireworks show is free, tickets to the buffet banquet and The Freedom Symphony are available for purchase at the Melaleuca product store at 330 North Capital Avenue in downtown Idaho Falls or by calling 208-522-0700. Tickets are $28 for adults and $15 for children (12 and under).

This article was originally published in Idaho Falls Magazine.