(Minghui.org) The 138th Bok Kai Festival took place in Marysville, California, on March 17-18, 2018. Falun Dafa practitioners from Sacramento and the Bay Area participated in the parade and street fair on March 17.

Falun Dafa practitioners at the 138th Bok Kai Festival in Marysville, California, March 17-18, 2018

Practitioners demonstrate the exercises.

The history of the festival is believed to go back to the 1850s, when this town played a significant role during the Gold Rush. A roadside sign in Marysville describes it as a “Gateway to the Gold Fields.”

Led by banners reading, “Falun Dafa” and “Truth-Compassion-Tolerance,” practitioners demonstrating the exercises were applauded by parade spectators, some of whom imitated the exercise movements.

As practitioners passed the stage, one organizer explained that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance were the guiding principles of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong.

A radio station host asked for a flyer, glanced over it, and said to the co-host, “I think you should practice Falun Gong.”

“I have not decided yet,” she replied.

“I know one thing is true—we all agree with Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. Right?”

He then turned to the spectators, who yelled, “Yes!” and applauded in agreement.

Many people stopped at the Falun Dafa booth for more information. Holly said she had never heard about Falun Dafa before but became very interested when she saw the “Truth-Compassion-Tolerance” banner in the parade. A practitioner told her about the practice and that it was being persecuted in China. Holly left with brochures and said she would read more about it.

Passersby stop at the booth for more information.

When Lee Mynatt passed by the booth, she couldn't take her eyes off the brochures and books on the table. When a practitioner told her that Falun Dafa was a self-improvement system that improves mind and body, Lee's eyes shone. Holding a copy of Zhuan Falun, she said she had been looking for a spiritual practice for many years, “This is what I have been waiting for my entire life.”

Ellena and David said they had heard about Falun Dafa previously, but they did not know much about the persecution. One practitioner shared her own story and described how practitioners were mistreated in China for their belief. David said he thought the persecution was “shameful.” He said more people needed to know about it and help stop it. “There is a nothing wrong becoming a better person,” he remarked.

Patrick Osborne, who owns two civil engineering companies, said this was the first time he'd heard of Falun Dafa. He said that everyone should have freedom of belief, especially in something as good as Falun Dafa. He held a flyer in front of his chest and said, “I will put this next to my heart.”

He said he hoped that the persecution would end soon, and offered his encouragement: “You are doing great, Please keep it up!”