New Westminster, Canada: Falun Gong in the Annual Hyack Festival Parade
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners from Vancouver participated in the Hyack Festival parade in New Westminster, Canada, on May 25, 2019. Despite the light rain, many people came out to watch the popular annual event.
New Westminster is one of the oldest cities on Canada's west coast and is known as the Royal City. The Hyack Festival is an annual celebration sponsored by the City of New Westminster and organized by the Hyack Festival Association. The Hyack Festival has a long history and is one of the largest parades on the west coast of the United States and Canada. More than one hundred groups from the U.S. and Canada participate each year.
Despite the rain, many people came out to watch. They took photos of the Falun Gong procession and applauded and waved in greeting. Many people working in nearby stores came out to take photos of the colorful Falun Gong entry.
Mr. Gavin Palmer, organizing committee member, praised the Falun Gong entry and thanked practitioners for bringing traditional Chinese culture to New Westminster. He especially enjoyed the performances by the Tian Guo Marching Band and the Waist Drum team.
The Hyack Festival Organizing Committee has a new president each year. Mr. Gavin Palmer was the president of the 2013 Hyack Festival. He said that New Westminster was named by Queen Victoria and has a long history.
Mr. Gavin said the organizing committee maintains the city's traditions through the Hyack Festival which brings the community together. He praised the Falun Gong entry and thanked practitioners for bringing Chinese traditional culture to New Westminster.
He especially thanked the Tian Guo Marching Band and the Waist Drum Team for their wonderful performances and said they brought a lot of joy to the audience.
Mr. Gordon McClelland's family has lived in New Westminster for generations, and he has watched the Hyack Festival Parade since he was a child. He applauded the Falun Gong group and said that he could feel the energy from the Tian Guo Marching Band.
Mr. McClelland said that Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance are universal and very important. He sincerely thanked the practitioners for traveling to New Westminster and performing for everyone despite the rain.
Ms. Eunice Slade sat on the curb and clapped for the Falun Gong entry in time with the music of the Tian Guo Marching Band. Ms. Slade is a flight attendant with Air Canada and has traveled all over the world. She drove one hour from the town of Abbotsford just to see the parade.
She said that she participated in the Hyack Festival parade as a child. Although she now lives an hour away, she still brings her children to see the parade. She said she loved the traditional Chinese costumes, performances, and the float.