The change of venue for this year's July Fourth fireworks in Whitehall was "an absolute success," said Mayor Kim Maggard.

The city relocated the launch site from John Bishop Park to Whitehall-Yearling High School this year and required tickets or proof of residency for entry.

Free tickets for nonresidents were available from Whitehall City Hall until June 30 for the July 3 event.

In each of the last three years, the number of arrests on the day of the fireworks has reached double digits.

But this year, Maggard said, that number "was a big fat goose egg – zero."

City administrators and police announced the change of venue and ticket policy last year in response to the previous unrest before and during the fireworks, which police said stemmed from large numbers of nonresidents arriving at Bishop Park shortly before the start of each show.

A carnival kept open until the fireworks started, as well as the park's numerous entry and exit points, made it a challenge to control the environment and was a factor in the unrest, police said.

The football stadium has limited ingress and egress and some of those who attended were subject to searches.

In 2014, 10 people were arrested and 17 were detained after a melee erupted at the start of the fireworks show at Bishop Park, leaving four police officers with minor injuries.

In 2015, 14 people were arrested. Last year, 14 people were arrested; all but two were juveniles, according to Whitehall police.

Reports indicated the majority of those arrested in each of the past three years resided outside Whitehall.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo