'Understated' is not a word that could generally be used to describe US politics; and 4 July proved to be no exception, with presidential candidates jostling to outdo each other and win the heart of the Great American Public.
Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann set the pace for the day, both making energetic and high-profile appearances at parades in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively.
"We love you Iowa!" proclaimed Bachmann, the Minnesota representative, as she worked her way through the parade. "We'll be back soon!"
She was trailed by her new blue tour bus, which has her name emblazoned on it 25 times -- stealing the show from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who attended the same rally.
"The attention comes and goes," Gingrich remarked stoically, as the crowd swarmed around Bachmann.
At a parade in New Hampshire, former governor of Utah Jon Huntsman brought the focus back to politics by pledgeding to run a civil campaign.
"I care about civility," he said. "The country wants to come together."