If you are unfamiliar with Idaho, then you may not have heard about the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. Held in the city of Idaho Falls, Idaho, just a short drive from Yellowstone National Park, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is the largest Fourth of July fireworks show west of the Mississippi River.
The Largest Fourth of July Fireworks Show
Unlike general hyperbole, this claim checks out: out of thousands of fireworks events in the 22 states west of the mighty Mississippi, this event launches the most Fourth of July fireworks into the sky.
The 2022 show featured 18,237 high-flying fireworks that lit up the horizon. It lasted for 31 minutes and averaged 9.8 shells per second. Each burst of light was synchronized with a patriotic soundtrack, courtesy of the local radio station, that played symphonic music, historic audio clips, and spoken word to honor the history of our nation.
Bringing in over 200,000 spectators, which tripled the city population, the event showcased the best American-made pyrotechnics in an awe-inspiring and ground-shaking production. USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Reader’s Digest, New York Weekly and other news outlets profiled the pyrotechnic masterpiece this year.
Here’s what fireworks expert, Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), said about this event: “Although the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration may be off the beaten path in Idaho Falls, Idaho, it’s worth the effort to behold this remarkable, competition-caliber fireworks show. This is one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays, and it’s been listed on the APA’s list of ‘Must-See Independence Day Fireworks Displays.’”
Why Does Melaleuca Pay for this Fireworks Show?
Free to the public, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is entirely paid for and provided by Melaleuca, The Wellness Company. Melaleuca is a health products manufacturer headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho. One of America’s largest online retailers, Melaleuca reaches over 2 million households per month in 20 countries around the world.
When asked why Melaleuca continuously funds this free fireworks display, Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot said, “In America, it’s easy to take our freedoms for granted. Sometimes we need to be reminded that freedom isn’t free. It came at a tremendous cost, not paid by us, but paid by the over one million men and women who have died in battle since 1776. The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration was created to honor those heroes and their families. Thirty-one minutes of tribute doesn’t seem like enough, but we hope it will create a feeling in our souls that will last all year.”
Going into its 30th year, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration continues to attract people from all over the country. First time attendees leave with an experience they will never forget.
Audience Impressions: Several ‘Finales’ Overwhelmed the Senses
“I have visited Idaho Falls for the last three years to spend time with my extended family for the Fourth of July. Aside from seeing them, I love to watch this firework show. It seemed like the finale took place several times throughout the display because it was so incredible,” said Chana Sykosky, a school librarian from Keizer, Oregon.
She wasn’t the only visitor who felt that way. Eric Rhees, a first-time attendee at the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, from California, said, “I have seen a lot of Independence Day firework shows, including the biggest ones in California’s largest cities, and I have to say that Melaleuca’s show held its own as a true rival. I did not expect it, but seeing is believing when it comes to experiencing the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. After watching it for the first time, I can see why it’s the best fireworks show west of the Mississippi.”
One local Idaho native, Diane Singleton, who has seen the show countless times, pointed out that the show’s meaning and message touched her heart:
“With a beautiful backdrop of the Tetons and a heartfelt tribute to America, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is truly the best,” Singleton said. “When it comes to patriotism, we take pride in our state’s Independence Day celebration, and the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is the perfect way to celebrate our freedom and those who fought for it.”
An All-Day Patriotic Celebration
Before the fireworks show, individuals attended Riverfest, a day-long party filled with festivities to celebrate our nation’s independence. The fun included live entertainment, bounce houses, food trucks, horse rides, helicopter tours, and an antique tractor and farm equipment display.
These festivities took place in a grassy picnic-style amphitheater, built specifically for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. Many guests prefer to arrive early to take advantage of the close loading available in the parking areas, delegated as, “Event Parking.” Surrounded by the rugged mountains and along the iconic Snake River, this event offered one of the most picturesque backdrops in America.
Fireworks Made in the USA
The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration proudly uses fireworks that are made in the USA. The vast majority of the fireworks are made by one of America’s top firework manufacturers. These fireworks are known for their bright, dramatic colors and vibrancy.
“Because American-made fireworks are quite expensive, it is very unusual to have them comprise the majority of a large show,” said Heather Gobet, CEO of Western Display Fireworks, whose family-owned company has fired more than 10,000 shows over 74 years. “Because Melaleuca supports American manufacturing, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is the only major fireworks show I know of that does not heavily depend on China! You can’t get more patriotic than that!”
The show pays tribute to America’s Founding Fathers, as well as the veterans, soldiers, and their families who have sacrificed to secure and preserve the freedoms of this great nation.