(Minghui.org) The 39th annual James J. Hill Days event was held on September 6-8, 2013 in Wayzata, Minnesota, along the shores of Lake Minnetonka. According to the city's website, “Since 1975, the weekend following Labor Day in Wayzata has been dedicated to honoring James J. Hill, Minnesota historic figure and once owner of the Great Northern Railroad Company.” The annual event is also a celebration of the town's history, and is filled with fun activities and events for the entire family.

Minnesota Falun Gong practitioners participated in the event for the second year. They set up a booth with banners, flyers, and other informational materials. Many passersby were attracted to the colorful paper lotus flowers made by the practitioners, and stopped by the booth to learn more about the practice. One passerby said that she still has the lotus flower hanging inside her house that she got from practitioners at the previous year's event.

Practitioners also raised awareness about and collected signatures to support Federal House Resolution 281 and Minnesota State House Resolution 4. Both resolutions condemn the Chinese regime's practice of illegal organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, particularly Falun Gong practitioners.

One woman stopped by the booth to talk to a practitioner. She said that one of her good friends was currently teaching English at a university in China, and she wanted to learn more about Falun Gong and the persecution. She was shocked to learn about the organ harvesting from practitioners and wanted additional information about the issue.

A Chinese woman from Beijing was excited to talk to practitioners. She and her son had been in Minnesota for only a year and this was her first encounter with practitioners overseas. She was pleasantly surprised that Falun Gong was warmly welcomed in the U.S., and practitioners were able to participate in community events. This is in stark contrast to China, where Falun Gong is persecuted and practitioners are not even allowed to do the Falun Gong exercises in public or openly talk to people about the practice.

During the two-day James J. Hill Days event, many people expressed an interest in learning more about Falun Gong. For some, this was their first encounter with the practice, while others had heard of the persecution and wanted to show their support for Falun Gong by signing the petition.