Largest Independence Day Parade in the Western U.S. Welcomes Practitioners for Fifth Straight Year (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On July 4, the largest Independence Day Parade in the Western United States was held at Huntington Beach, Southern California. This year marks its 104th anniversary, attracting as many as 250 groups. This was the fifth year that Los Angeles Falun Gong practitioners have participated in the event.
Falun Gong procession in Huntington Beach Independence Day Parade
Sword dance team
Waist drum team
Spectators warmly greeted Falun Gong procession
A spectator followed along with the Falun Gong exercises
The parade stepped off at 10:00 a.m. and lasted more than three hours. Showcased were a number of decorated floats, marching bands, veterans groups, martial arts performance groups, and many other cultural groups. The parade route was about 4 miles long and drew several hundred thousand spectators. Some local residents came out as early as 6:00 a.m. to get a good viewing spot to see the parade.
The Falun Gong procession was the only Chinese group in the parade. The practitioners presented waist drums, a sword dance, and a large decorated float on which several practitioners demonstrated the five sets of Falun Gong exercises. Many spectators were happy to receive the fliers distributed by practitioners along the parade route.
Carrie Priddy comes from Santa Ana to see the parade every year. She was attracted by the Falun Gong procession and asked to take a photo with the practitioners who performed on the waist drums. She said that she was moved by the practitioners who were clearly performing with such devoted hearts. She was also impressed by the perfect integration of colorful and dynamic traditional Chinese arts with the American spirit.
"[Their performance] inspired me to learn more about ancient Chinese wisdom," Ms. Priddy said.