Shooting Fireworks in Burnsville

Found out I'm pretty bad at shooting fireworks. The picture I prepared in my mind worked out fine, but the execution left a lot to be desired. First, the final image...

Burnsville NC Fireworks 2014

Burnsville NC Fireworks 2014

This is a composite of several shots with Photoshop massaging, which went as planned. I definitely wanted fireworks with people in the shot. But I made a bunch of mistakes while shooting this, so I consider the image a test run. Next year I’ll do it right. By the way all the images were shot from the exact same position with a 24mm lens. All I had to do was pick the ones I wanted to layer and blend. What would I do differently? I should have set up sooner, as it was impossible to be certain of good focus in the dark. The people shot should have been done at a high enough ISO to keep them sharp. Bulb didn’t work there. Of course, the fireworks themselves were all done using Bulb and a release. But even there the tripod wasn't set solidly enough. Like I said - next year.