The 4th of July seems to be quite a big deal in the United States. I was just looking forward to the day off work, but ended up being impressed by how "into it" people seemed to be.
Flags were fluttering on every possible pole and building, the local news showed various barbecues and parades, and I read somewhere that America would be spending $2 billion on food for the occasion. Mostly burgers and hotdogs apparently.
At 9:20pm Macy's sponsors the country's biggest fireworks display. 40,000 rockets were fired upwards from four barges in the East River over a period of about 25 minutes. Not even the rain could dampen that show.
The odd part is that fireworks are illegal in New York State (along with a reasonable number of the other states, too). Maybe that goes some way towards explaining why 3 million people turned up to view the spectacle last night.