(Clearwisdom.net October 8) On Saturday, September 28, 2003, practitioners took part in Cairns "Festival of Lights" parade. Every year this event has a different theme. As Cairns, a popular resort community about 12 hours drive north of Brisbane, doesn't have many practitioners, a call went out and several practitioners from Bowen, Mackay and the Gold Coast traveled up to join in this event.

The practitioners in Cairns had built a boat-shaped float with "From Stormy Seas to Peaceful Shores" painted on the sides, three banners with Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance on them and a central mast with Falun Gong along its entire length. Fairy lights went up the supports from the two boat ends to the top of the mast and a floodlight directly under the mast and pointing straight up brightly lit up the Falun Gong banner. The radiance of Dafa could be seen by all.

Doing exercises before the parade Practitioners' boat-shaped float
A banner in parade Information stall Exercise demonstration

There was a delay in starting the parade, so all the practitioners decided to perform the exercises next to our float until the parade began. This attracted the attention of many of the other parade participants, as well as many people passing by. People stopped and asked questions about the practice and the persecution and several stated they would come to the practice site. Demonstrating the exercises also helped ground all of us amidst all the noise and bustle of the parade.

Leading our procession were two practitioners carrying a maroon velvet banner with shiny golden Falun Dafa lettering followed by a yellow vehicle with "Falun Dafa is Good" on the sides pulling the float. Following were two other banners, the first with "Falun Dafa is Good" and the second with "The World Needs Truth, Compassion and Tolerance." The car had a sound system mounted on top playing Dafa music Pudu the entire way and the practitioners wore yellow Falun Dafa T-shirts with white paints.

There were many different floats, most with loud music, dancers, drummers and displays of all sorts. Our boat-shaped float with its silent procession and gentle music really stood out. The parade route went along the esplanade for over two kilometers and thousands of people lined both sides of the road the entire way. As our float majestically went by the crowds of people, many clapped, some came out and patted practitioners on the back and told them to keep up the good work, others said that the world really did need Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance and many yelled out Falun Dafa is good. We were amazed by the number of people and really happy with their extremely positive and supportive reaction to us.

That evening we all stayed together, had a meal and studied and shared. The next day, we went to the monthly markets at The Tanks, where we had an information table and banner and did an exercise demonstration on an outdoor amphitheatre stage. Some people who watched told us they really felt the energy and that this is what they had been looking for. There are still many predestined people waiting for the Fa everywhere.

A number of us drove back to Bowen and then traveled to Mackay on Tuesday to help at their exercise site and share in their reading night. The Mackay sites have many new people coming to learn the exercises. As most of the Mackay practitioners are relatively new, they really appreciated the input from other practitioners. We have found that it is very important for practitioners to support each other during this period in whatever ways we can. This ended a very successful several days of activities in north Queensland.