(Clearwisdom.net) On June 29, 2002, along the river at Penn's Landing there was laughter and merry conversation. Many people came to celebrate the "Fun, Fit & Free Festival." It was a 10-day celebration, a major program for the celebration of Independence Day and initiated by the city government to promote health.

During the festival, the harbor was crowded with booths. Some booths offered food and beverages, some offered consultations about health, and some had interesting games for children. The Falun Dafa booth was especially spectacular among all the booths. The golden banners reading, "Falun Dafa - Mind & Body Cultivation" and "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" clearly demonstrated the theme of true health. Several practitioners repeatedly demonstrated the five sets of exercises. Practitioners had carefully designed two posters to exhibit. One poster introduced the principles of the cultivation of Falun Dafa, the characteristics of Falun Gong, along with examples of practitioners who have benefited physically and spiritually from practicing. Another poster listed the worldwide support and awards to Falun Dafa and our Teacher. A Chinese practitioner demonstrated Chinese calligraphy on the spot, attracting the attention of many people who love oriental culture, while another practitioner explained the truth behind the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.

At about 9:30 a.m., a group of several hundred people reached their final stop, Penn's Landing, after a 4-mile health walk. The mayor made a speech to thank the people who participated in the celebration and appealed to the citizens of Philadelphia to value health. Two practitioners came forward to talk with the mayor and sincerely thanked him for his support of Falun Gong over the last two years. Mayor Street had a very good impression of Falun Dafa and the practitioners. He happily received our Dafa literature and music CDs. When he learned that the practitioners actively participate in community service to promote Falun Dafa, he further emphasized the importance of a healthy body and mind. He patted a practitioner on the shoulder and said humorously "Ah! You look very healthy." Then Mayor Street gladly posed for a group photo with the practitioners.

Mayor John Street talking with practitioner

Many moving stories occurred at the Falun Dafa booth. One lady from Europe told us that she had received emails about the violation of the human rights of Falun Dafa practitioners, but she was not sure if it was true. After talking with practitioners, she felt very sad about the brutal persecution of Falun Dafa in China. She asked the practitioners how she could help the Falun Dafa practitioners in China. The practitioners told her that there are many ways she can help, for example, joining "Friends of Falun Gong" and visiting Falun Dafa websites to learn more information. She thanked the practitioner again and again. Before she left, she said with determination, "I will participate in the activities to stop this persecution."

A businessman was deeply attracted to Falun Gong when he passed by our booth. He exclaimed, "Very beautiful! I'd like to buy the exercise demo videotapes and ask all the employees in my company to learn Falun Gong." He turned out to be the owner of a huge company. He excitedly explained to the employees who were with him how Falun Gong could relieve mental stress and other heath issues. Consequently, everyone asked for introduction literature about Falun Dafa. They further invited us to hold workshops in their company to teach Falun Gong.

Many residents in Philadelphia got to know about Falun Gong through this activity. The practitioners took advantage of this opportunity to talk with the organizers of this celebration and the participating city officials, who were impressed with the peacefulness and enthusiasm of Falun Gong practitioners.