(Clearwisdom.net July 5, 2003) On July 4, Falun Gong practitioners participated in the yearly Independence Day parade in the San Francisco Bay area. Their demonstration of Falun Gong exercises and traditional Chinese culture won warm applause from the audience.

In last year's Independence Day, Falun Gong practitioners formed a large procession and participated in the parade in Redwood City. This year they participated in the celebration activities of three cities, Alameda, Redwood City and Milpitas, to demonstrate the grace of Dafa to more people.

Parade in Alameda

At 9:00 am on the morning of July 4, 2003, two hours before Independence Day parade in Alameda, the practitioners started to rehearse. The parade started at 11:00 am with 150 groups in different costumes. Local and nearby residents watched the parade by the roadside.

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In the parade, Falun Gong practitioners were eye-catching in their yellow practice costumes, colorful float, gentle and melodious music and charming dances. Female Falun Gong practitioners with traditional Chinese costumes walked in front of the procession, followed by a float decorated with lotus flowers, on which several female practitioners with Tang Dynasty costumes and male practitioners with yellow practice suits sat and meditated. Colorful flags were embroidered with Falun and the words Truth, Compassion, Forbearance. The parade route was about three miles long. In the nearly two-hour-long parade, Falun Gong practitioners won much applause from spectators. Many people accepted the truth-clarification flyers from the practitioners.

When the procession passed the ceremony podium, the mayor saw the banners of "Falun Dafa" and "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance" and said happily, "Falun Dafa, We need truth, compassion, and forbearance." He specially invited those Dafa practitioners holding banners to stand beside the stage. The practitioners were pleased with the mayor's kind thought.

At the end of the parade, the mayor asked the practitioners to have a group photo with him.

Parade in Milpitas

Dafa practitioners from Milpitas, and San Jose participated in the parade in Milpitas. When the procession passed the podium, the mayor waved his hand warmly to the practitioners and introduced Falun Dafa to spectators. He looked at the words on our banner and said loudly, "Cultivation brings peace and health."

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Many spectators were attracted by the graceful dance and exercise demonstration. A westerner said, "Such a graceful practice and dance. It is incredible that the Chinese government views it as a threat."

At the end of the parade, Falun Gong won the first prize in the procession, which was offered to two groups at the same time.

Parade in Redwood City

Falun Gong practitioners in the cities of Sacramento, Santa Clara, and Palo Alto participated in the parade in Redwood City. When Falun Gong practitioners' procession passed the podium, the host said through the loud speaker, "Falun Gong's procession left us with graceful impressions last year. Today let's welcome the Falun Dafa procession again. Falun Dafa has a practice site in almost every city in the Bay area and free teaching is offered."

Female practitioners with ancient Chinese costume performed the graceful colored lantern dance and traditional fan dance. Visitors warmly applauded and some said loudly, "Falun Dafa is good!" The host said that Falun Gong's procession was very welcome and would be welcome to participate again.

To rescue Dr. Charles Li, the practitioners collected signatures. Some said after signing, "Please make sure to bring Charles back." One shop owner invited a practitioner into his shop and asked all the employees to sign. They said they were concerned about Charles after seeing reports about him.

After the parade, some visitors saw us and said, "Falun Gong, Falun Gong" with truth-clarification literature in hands, they put their hands in front of their chest to show respect to practitioners.