(Minghui.org) A large number of Independence Day events have taken place in the past few days to celebrate the United States’ 245th birthday. This includes a parade on July 3 in Coronado, a peninsula resort city in San Diego Bay. While participating in the city's 72nd Independence Day Parade, Falun Dafa practitioners introduced this mind and body meditation system to the community. Their unique float won the first prize in their division. 

Falun Dafa practitioners in San Diego participated in Coronado's 72nd Independence Day Parade on July 3, 2021. 

Coronado is a naval base and this parade is the largest one of its kind in San Diego county. Tens of thousands of people attend or watch the event every year. After a pause last year due to COVID-19, it resumed this year with over 100 participating groups. Falun Dafa practitioners displayed banners, a float, and gave waist drum performances. 

Practitioners demonstrate the exercises on the float

Terri, a young practitioner in charge of the float design, said it was shaped like a boat and represents hope. “We intend to tell people that Falun Dafa and its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have benefited practitioners and the general public. These principles bring hope to society.”

It was a team effort. Practitioners worked with each other closely and were able to finish building the float before the parade. When presenting the prize, the host thanked practitioners for their hard work and dedication through the years. He said practitioners brought their beautiful float, wonderfulness, and hope to the community. 

During the march, practitioners also held banners with words such as “Falun Dafa is good,” “Falun Dafa is practiced in over 100 countries,” “Return to tradition,” “Facts bring us hope,” and “Reject the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)”. Many spectators applauded the banners and some read aloud, “Falun Dafa is good!” When practitioners went through the parade route, hosts at various sections also introduced the group to the crowds while reading aloud the banners. 

Traditional waist drum performance

Bettie said she liked words on the banners. “I agree with all of them. Especially the last one – ‘Reject the CCP'—it comes at the right time and this is very important!” She reiterated the importance of upholding traditional values, and pointed out that there are many common themes between people from different backgrounds. 

Edna Drayne owns a restaurant in downtown San Diego. She said that the practitioners' entry impressed her. She vividly described the float, the exercise demonstration, and the “beautiful” music. She said everything was great and truly “magnificent.” 

She explained that watching the practitioners as they passed by made her feel peaceful. She also liked the words on the banners and said they are very important, especially today. 

Another spectator, Victoria, said she had not heard about Falun Dafa before. Through watching the parade and talking with a practitioner, she learned about the persecution in China. “The meditation is wonderful,” she remarked. “The peaceful manner practitioners have maintained despite the suppression [by the CCP] has also set a good example. They did the right thing!”

Xu immigrated from China many years ago. Impressed by the practitioners' entry, she said despite the ongoing persecution in China, she is glad to see practitioners can exercise their freedom of belief in the U.S. “Falun Dafa is good!” she called out. 

Yan, a practitioner who participated in the parade said she was also moved by the cheerful crowd. “One person told me we are the best and they hope we will participate next year,” she said. 

Chinese version available

Category: Parades & Other Community Events