It was a sea of red, white and blue, and Pete Chatfield was proud to be a part of it.
He's been waiting for this event at Adado Park since last Fourth of July. Chatfield said he likes the music of the Lansing Concert Band, and he loves his Uncle Sam sequined hat.
"I bought it last year and didn't get a chance to wear it," Chatfield said. "So, I got it out this year. My wife didn't approve, but..."
But he wore it anyway, and he was in good company with about 3,000 others. Even first-timers like 2-month-old Eli Ostrowski got in the spirit of Independence Day.
"It's wonderful," said Emily Ostrowski, Eli's mom. "We love to have traditions with our family and we're so happy he's here to be part of it."
Eli was joined by his two older brothers, grandparents, and dad as well. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero told the crowd of families that the park was the safest place to be in Michigan at the time.
There was more security than any year before, with more than 100 Lansing Police officers on duty and security teams conducting pat downs and bag checks at the gates. Absolutely no personal fireworks were allowed in the park.
"We've gone out of our way, we've taken extra measures to make sure that people are safe," Mayor Bernero said. "Common Ground is on its way here, so the fencing was up anyway. We added the gates, we added the security. So we are checking bags, we want to make sure that no one is bringing any fireworks in here. The only fireworks will be the ones that we set off."
The extra precautions are in response to an incident last year that left a woman hospitalized after someone shot a firework into the crowd. Lansing police Captain Mike Yankowski said they had enough officers to handle any situation that might arise this year. Many people said they don't mind celebrating their independence with extra security.
"It didn't bother me a bit," said Gina Anderson, who goes to the event every year. "With all the fireworks going on in neighborhoods the past couple of days, I have no problem at all. I think they should check every year, thoroughly."
Chatfield joked that security might have missed a step.
"They searched my pockets, but they didn't look in my hat," Chatfield said. "I thought, I could have brought in a lot of fireworks in my hat."
This was also the first year the city closed the park early. No one was allowed in after 9:30 p.m. The city's fireworks display began around 10:15 p.m.