For Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot, pyrotechnics have been a passion since his boyhood in northern Idaho. He recalls crafting homemade sparklers from mulberry weeds, enjoying the crackle of campfires and watching the neighborhood fireworks rise over Cocolalla Lake and reflect off the water.
In his youth, VanderSloot saw that fireworks had the power to bring people together and create a spirit of unity and gratitude. He believes they still have a similar effect today.
That’s why, for VanderSloot and Melaleuca, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is more than just a way to entertain people on the Fourth of July. It’s a heartfelt, unifying gift for the community—but more importantly, it’s a grateful tribute to America’s heroes.
Now in its 26th year, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration commemorates the principles of liberty upon which the United States of America was founded and honors each and every patriot who has sacrificed for our freedom. Launching the most state-of-the-art shells available, this dazzling pyrotechnic display is perfectly synchronized note-for-note and shell-for-shell to inspiring music and patriotic messages broadcast live on KLCE 97 FM.
Since 1992, Melaleuca has hosted the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration as a thank-you to America’s veterans, soldiers, and their families. From 1992 to 2000, the show was billed as the third-largest show west of the Mississippi. In May 2000, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot announced that he was tired of having to say “third-largest” and committed to expand the show to be the largest show west of the Mississippi.
Melaleuca has partnered with Western Display Fireworks every year to ensure the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is an unforgettable experience for each spectator. The Oregon-based fireworks vendor travels to top shows and fireworks makers across the globe to find the latest in cutting-edge pyrotechnics. Thanks to their research, spectators in Idaho Falls are treated to some of the most impressive fireworks in the world.
To add meaning to the show, the fireworks are accompanied every year by a soundtrack that evokes emotion and instills patriotic pride. Musical selections range from rousing to solemn. Spoken-word messages remind listeners of the precious freedom they enjoy—and honor those who have paid so dearly to secure it.
Consider the sacrifice of loved ones: The mother who prays every day for her daughter’s safe return; the father who restlessly paces the floor, worrying that his son may not survive; the child who wakes up every morning, hoping this is the day that daddy comes home; the nurse who toils away in the VA hospital to heal wounded veterans; and the heartbroken widow who accepts a folded American flag as a symbol of appreciation for her husband’s sacrifice for his country. To all those who have lost or sacrificed to protect our liberty, we offer our solemn gratitude here and now. Every minute of our celebration, every shell fired, and every song played is a tribute to you!
In addition to the moving radio program and innovative pyrotechnics, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration includes several other features that set it apart from the typical fireworks show.
First, Idaho Falls, surrounded by rugged mountains and hugging the iconic Snake River, offers one of the most idyllic backdrops in America. Second, the show features a state-of-the-art firing system capable of launching shells with precision down to 1/1000th of a second. Third, a wide variety of shells are launched from a massive platform that vividly paints the night sky from side to side and top to bottom. And fourth, the fireworks erupt at nearly 10 shells per second for more than half an hour.
In preparing to entertain and inspire the thousands of families who attend this annual Independence Day event, no detail is overlooked. The result is a ground-shaking, dramatic, visually stunning, and perfectly choreographed fireworks show that beautifully celebrates America and salutes its heroes.
Today, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is regarded as one of the nation’s best fireworks displays on Independence Day. In 2015, USA Today named it one of the best fireworks shows in America. And in 2017, the American Pyrotechnics Association named it one of five “must-see” shows in the country.
Melaleuca: The Wellness Company manufactures and distributes over 450 health and wellness products, which include nutritional supplements, eco-friendly cleaners, personal care products, and cosmetics.
Headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Melaleuca generates more than $2 billion in annual revenue and ranks as one of the largest e-commerce companies in North America. Founded in 1985 as a small startup with eight products, Melaleuca has grown to 4,300 employees, and its products can be found in 1.75 million households in 19 countries around the world.