I do not like fireworks, even free ones, and I never considered paying to see the special displays at Longwood Gardens. But my wife and I were volunteering at the Peirce-du Pont House over the Labor Day weekend when they had them and our shift ended just as the fireworks started. I could not not see them.
The place was sold out. Obviously, many people were willing to pay to be there. And, it was the best display I have ever seen, a spectacular one of unique explosions, music, and fountains in the background, all experienced close-up and in comfort. The conservatory and grounds (with a summer-long optical fiber light show) stayed open until 11 p.m., an added attraction that helped spread out the departing crowds. I highly recommend future ones to any fireworks fan, even to non-fans like me. Maybe I was wrong all these years.
If you wanted to go all-out, you could have also signed up for the preceding summer barbeque, expensive, but extremely elegant with white table cloths and uniformed servers, appropriate for a guest of Pierre du Pont himself. I cannot imagine anyone leaving disappointed.