Natural Wonders, Top Fireworks Show Make Idaho Falls the Perfect Summer Destination to Celebrate the Fourth of July
For the typical American, summer is prime time for cross-country road trips and family adventures. If you haven’t already made your summer 2017 vacation plans, you may want to give Idaho Falls, Idaho, a try.
To those in the know, it comes as no surprise that Idaho was the only spot in the entire country that made Vogue’s list of “10 Hottest Travel Destinations of 2017.” Crowds are drawn to its natural beauty, and people from all over the world use Idaho Falls as a jumping off point for world-class fly-fishing, wildlife watching, whitewater rafting, and other adventures found only in the Gem State.
Idaho Falls is blessed to be surrounded by the iconic, stunning scenery of the Mountain West so wonderfully portrayed in Americana. From the center of town, drive a little over an hour in virtually any direction and you’ll come face to face with some of the most breathtaking natural wonders on earth.
To the north there are hiking trails along the Continental Divide, not to mention the wonders of Yellowstone National Park. To the east stand the striking Grand Tetons with popular Jackson Hole below. To the south sits the brilliantly turquoise Bear Lake, a tourist destination appropriately nicknamed the “Caribbean of the Rockies.” And to the west lies Craters of the Moon, an otherworldly landscape of jagged, black volcanic rock and massive subterranean caverns.
Idaho Falls is beautiful and well worth the trip any season of year; however, the ideal time to visit is on the Fourth of July, as the town happens to be home to one of America’s best fireworks shows.
Set to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration is one of the best fireworks displays in all of America. Yet, because it takes place in such a small town (Idaho Falls has a population just over 50,000) it remains a relative secret.
Everyone expects to see an amazing fireworks show in big cities like New York, Philadelphia, or Boston on the Fourth of July. Smaller communities lack both the budget and the population to warrant a big show — which is why most are surprised to learn that the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi River isn’t in a major metropolis, but in rural Idaho.
What makes such a small-town phenomenon possible? It’s the show’s sponsor and namesake, Melaleuca — a $1.75 billion health products manufacturer based in Idaho Falls. Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot is a self-proclaimed fireworks connoisseur, and he puts on the event as a tribute to America’s soldiers, veterans, and their families.
Last year the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fired off more than 17,000 shells. That’s more firepower than the shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, or any other western city.
But there’s more to the Idaho Falls fireworks show than sheer volume of pyrotechnics. It’s accompanied by a radio broadcast featuring patriotic songs and messages, and each shell is perfectly choreographed to the music and words.
The show attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. Even so, the expansive greenbelt along the banks of the Snake River, from which the fireworks are launched, allows ample space for spectators to spread out and enjoy the show in comfort.
The result is something wonderful and unique: an impressive, awe-inspiring fireworks display expected in the big city, but found in the relative quiet of America’s heartland.
So if you’re not sure where to go or what to do this summer, consider a trip to Idaho Falls, where you can explore the wonders of the West and experience one of the top fireworks shows in America.