I grew up in a big city in the USSR. Every public event was organized and prescribed by "Big Brother". Every official celebration was marked with a pompous demonstration with hundreds of thousands of people walking with red banners in their hands. Every one of them looked the same. Now, I can't get enough of America's small-town, unique celebrations.
This year, we travelled North from San Francisco for the 4th of July. In Ferndale & Eureka. I experienced a new flavor of this, most quintessential, of American holidays. The vibe was quite different from what I am used to in the SF Bay Area.