Just 500 kilometres south of the Canadian border exists a place that might be more Canadian than it is American.
The town of Little Canada, Minnesota is exactly what its name suggests. Home to 10,000 people, the place is essentially a miniature version of the northern nation, with Canadian roots tracing back to the mid-19th century.
It even has maple leaf with a fleur de lis in the centre as its logo, and you can find it pretty much everywhere in the town — on street signs, on people's trucks, and even on stationary.
Every year, the town holds a three-day festival called "Canadian Days" that's entirely dedicated to Canadian culture and heritage. Founded in 1976, the festival is intended to promote stronger ties between the town's residents and those of Thunder Bay, which is its sister city.
The festival is as Canadian as you'd expect — there's a pancake breakfast with real Canadian maple syrup, a Canadian beer garden, a "Canadian tuxedo" fashion show, and even a Timbits eating contest (Little Canada just recently opened its first Tim Hortons).
There are also fun events like a volleyball tournament, a bean bag tournament, a vintage car show, a petting zoo and performances by Canadian bagpipe bands like the Macgillivray Pipe Band, which makes the five-hour drive from Thunder Bay every year to visit the festival.
The main event, however, is a parade that marches down the town's main street. Residents walk proudly by waving both Canadian and American flags to commemorate their dual identities.
This year, the Canada Days celebrations will run from August 3 to 5, and it's going to be the biggest one yet. As many as 50 Canadians make the trip to Little Canada for the festival every year. Will you be one of them this time around?