The Idaho State Journal features an article about the 23rd annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration that is expected to bring as many as 150,000 people to Idaho Falls this weekend. The Idaho State Journal article can be found here.
The annual Independence Day show is free to the public and features the largest fireworks display west of the Mississippi River. The 31-minute program, which includes fireworks synchronized to patriotic music and spoken word, starts around 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The purpose of the celebration, says Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot, is to recognize and honor the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and soldiers, as well as their families. Organizers hope the event will serve as a reminder to those in attendance that the freedoms Americans enjoy every day have come at a tremendous cost.
When it comes to sheer pyrotechnic firepower, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is one of the country’s largest. During this year’s celebration, 17,490 shells will be fired into the night sky at a rate of 10 shells per second.
The spectacular fireworks display is produced by an Oregon company, Western Display Fireworks, which spends several months choreographing the show and nearly a week setting it up. The program will be broadcast live on KLCE Classy 97.3 FM.
The fireworks show is a crowd favorite year after year, but it is only one part of the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., there will also be a banquet dinner and symphony performance along the banks of the Snake River.