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With just hours left until Independence Day festivities kick-off, the Idaho Falls Police Department would like to remind the public to be safe, plan ahead and know which roads will be closed as they make plans to attend celebrations around town.
Idaho Falls, ID – With just hours left until Independence Day festivities kick-off, the Idaho Falls Police Department would like to remind the public to be safe, plan ahead and know which roads will be closed as they make plans to attend celebrations around town.
Here are a few tips and reminders:
• Be prepared for the day’s activities. Read up on all information regarding event attendance, road closures, and parking restrictions. Also check the weather conditions to ensure you are properly prepared with adequate hydration, shade, sunscreen, etc.
• Unfortunately, criminals don’t take holidays off and may take advantage of empty houses while people attend celebrations around town. Be sure to lock doors and windows when away from home. Vehicles should also be properly secured at home and when parked to attend events.
• Report any criminal activity. IFPD officers will be patrolling throughout the events. They can also be contacted by calling 911 for emergencies and (208)529-1200 for non-emergencies. Every Idaho Falls Police Department officer will be working on the 3rd of July. We thank the public for their patience as officers address calls for service as quickly as possible, as well as other safety and criminal concerns throughout the day.
• Parents and guardians need to keep a close eye on children at events and should talk to children about safety before leaving home. Take a photo of your children on your smartphone to remember the day, and also to show police officers a recent photo if your child becomes lost. If a child does become lost, the Chamber of Commerce Liberty on Parade, Idaho Falls Community Hospital Riverfest and Melaleuca Freedom Celebration will each have officers patrolling the events that can be flagged down, as well as designated locations where people can report a lost child or seek help finding a lost child.
Parade – Look for the Idaho Falls Police tent at the intersection of 10th Street and S Boulevard, near Common Cents.
Riverfest/Freedom Celebration – Look for the Idaho Falls Police tent at the intersection of Snake River Parkway and Event Center Drive.
• Due to the activities and the increased number of people in the city, traffic will move slower, particularly in the area around Snake River Landing following the fireworks display. Drivers should exercise patience, slow down, concentrate and make the choice to obey all traffic laws and special holiday parking and traffic restrictions. We encourage people attending Riverfest and the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration to plan ahead and follow the parking and traffic plans available on the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration website.
• Obey the event rules. Organizers establish rules and regulations for a reason. They’re in place to ensure safety for all event patrons. This includes the prohibition of fireworks and alcohol at the Independence Day Parade, Riverfest and the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration.
• Leave the fireworks to the professionals this year. We are fortunate to have several opportunities this year to enjoy professional aerial fireworks shows in our area. These professional shows have completed strict permitting processes that require safety plans and working with fire department officials. Aerial fireworks are illegal in Idaho, outside of permitted professional shows, and can be quite dangerous. Aside from the potential for injury to those lighting these fireworks or in close proximity, dry and hot conditions mean that fire risk is quite high at this time. Sparks from these fireworks falling back to the earth can cause fires to dry grassy areas, fields, and structures including homes.
Anyone utilizing legal fireworks is asked to please be courteous to neighbors and practice caution when handling and lighting fireworks. Ensure that fireworks are completely extinguished before disposal by soaking fireworks in a bucket of water overnight.
The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Liberty on Parade is scheduled for Saturday, July 3rd at 9:00 a.m. The parade begins at the intersection of South Holmes Avenue and 4th Street, traveling west on 4th Street. The parade turns South onto South Boulevard and continues to Rogers Street where the parade disperses.
Parking along the parade route is not permitted after 5:00 a.m. on July 3rd, until after the conclusion of the parade. Anyone who leaves a vehicle parked along the parade route after 5:00 a.m. for any length of time risks being cited and/or having the vehicle towed.
Pedestrian foot traffic and people lining the parade route begins hours before the start of the parade. Motorists are asked to avoid the area if they are not attending the parade and to otherwise use caution in the area.
The following road closures related to the parade will be in effect at the indicated times on July 3rd until the conclusion of the parade.
9:00 a.m. and later.
Those attending the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration and Idaho Falls Community Hospital Riverfest should review the Parking & Exiting Map for recommended parking areas based on your destination following the fireworks. Complex traffic plans have been put in place through partnerships with Snake River Landing and event organizers, the Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho State Police, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, City of Idaho Falls, and the Idaho Falls Police Department. Traffic plans from past years have been evaluated for improvements and slight changes have been made to maximize safety and efficiency as people are exiting the Snake River Landing area following the fireworks. Routes in and around Idaho Falls will be restricted, and certain parking lots will allow for faster exits to certain locations. Information about parking lot designations is available here.
Due to the greatly increased number of people in the city, remember to remain patient in slow-moving traffic. Drivers should slow down, focus on driving, avoid distractions, watch for pedestrians, and bicyclists, obey all traffic laws, special holiday parking and traffic restrictions. Drivers should not attempt to go around cones or barricaded areas and should obey directions from law enforcement and designated traffic officials.
The road closures listed below will go into effect at the time shown and will reopen when traffic exiting the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has sufficiently cleared.
July 3rd at 6 a.m.
Full road closures:
PARKING INSTRUCTIONS: *There is no on-street parking allowed anywhere on Snake River Pkwy, Pioneer Road, Event Center Drive, or Sunnyside between I-15 and Yellowstone Hwy at any time on the 3rd of July. Vehicles parked in these areas risk towing or citation.
July 3rd at 8 p.m.
July 3rd at 9:30 p.m.
People planning to attend the fireworks should plan to arrive at their designated watch area early and should not expect to access Snake River Landing at the last minute. Road closures in the following areas will be closed beginning at 9:30 p.m. in preparation for traffic exiting the fireworks:
Pedestrians and bicyclists leaving Snake River Landing via Sunnyside will be able to use the sidewalk on the north side of Sunnyside Road. Pedestrians and bicyclists are asked to not cross Sunnyside in any location other than designated crossing areas indicated by event signage. Visibility is low and pedestrian safety is a significant concern. Besides causing delays to traffic flow exiting the event, there are vehicle versus pedestrian near misses each year due to pedestrians crossing traffic in an unsafe manner.
In addition, South Tourist Park and Ryder Park serve as command posts for emergency personnel from the Idaho Falls Police Department, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, and the Idaho Falls Fire Department. In order for emergency vehicles to respond quickly in the event of an emergency, South Tourist Park and Ryder Park will be closed to all public vehicles, boats & campers/RVs beginning July 2 at noon. South Tourist park and the adjacent River Walk/Greenbelt will remain open for foot/bicycle traffic. The parks will reopen to vehicles boats and camping at noon on July 4.