Long before they got to enjoy them, those who came out to see the fireworks at Delta Township's Sharp Park had to present passes to be allowed to park there. Their cars and bags were also checked.
The security measures brand new this year to keep past problems from popping up.
"In the past, we've had problems with fireworks going off in the crowd, injuring people," said Lt. Jeff Campbell of the Eaton County Sheriff's Office. "We've had fights, disorderly conduct, that kind of thing."
Desire Keys and her family were one of the first to arrive, Thursday. For her, the new rules are a small price to pay to keep people safe.
"Now nobody can bring illegal stuff in or hurt anybody," said Keys. "We've seen plenty of fights here before."
It also means tough luck for the people who didn't know about the new rules. Those who didn't get parking passes in advance were turned away at the entrance to Sharp Park.
Roseta Martinez and her family had to park down the street at the Lansing Mall and walk because of it. She says a lot of people didn't know they needed passes until it was too late and that the security checks offer no guarantees.
"If you want to bring something, you'll find a way to bring it in," she said. "Stopping everyone to check everything delays everyone else as well."
Those in charge say that's not the point.
"We're trying to strike a balance between making it safe and fun for everybody," said Campbell.