(Clearwisdom.net) On July 4, 2009, Falun Gong practitioners were once again invited to participate in the National Independence Day Parade held in Evanston, Illinois, located just north of Chicago. It was the ninth year that Falun Gong practitioners have taken part in one of the largest "Independence Day" parades in the U.S.

On July 4, 2009, Falun Gong practitioners participated in the Evanston Independence Day Parade

The Evanston Independence Day Parade has eighty-eight years of history, and was evaluated as the third largest "Independence Day" parade in the U.S. in 2001 by the magazine Country Home, second only to Washington DC and Boston. The unique feature of the Evanston Independence Day Parade, as the Country Home article commented, is that it is entirely organized by volunteers and the source of funds comes from donations by individuals or companies. Although the parade is entirely organized by non-governmental organizations, its influence in society cannot be ignored. In 2004, when Barack Obama was a state representative in Illinois, he also took part in the parade to run for US Senator.

The parade moved along Central Street, the main street, and continued for three miles. The Falun Gong contingent was the only entry that included Chinese people among 123 entries. The local residents are already quite familiar with the group, and they applauded as soon as they heard the drumbeats of the Tang drums and saw the bright flags bearing the words, "Falun Dafa." Several spectators waved and shouted, "Falun Gong!"

The Falun Gong practitioners started taking part in the Evanston Independence Day parade since 2001, and won the first place for the best float in 2003, and the third place for the best float in 2004. Since then, the organizers have invited Falun Gong practitioners to participate in the parade every year.