(Minghui.org) July 4, 2024 marked the 248th anniversary of the United States’ independence, and Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) practitioners in San Diego, California, once again participated in the Coronado Independence Day parade. This is the largest Independence Day parade in San Diego County. This year was the 75th anniversary of the parade, with nearly 140 groups participating. The Falun Gong float and contingent won several awards, including the “American Spirit Award.”

Practitioners participate in the Coronado Independence Day Parade on July 4, 2024. 

Practitioners have participated in the Coronado Independence Day Parade more than ten times and have won many awards. This time, the practitioners’ contingent included a banner team, a float, and a waist drum team. They won the “American Spirit Award,” one of the five major awards given by the organizer.

Volunteers from the organizing committee walk in front of the Falun Gong contingent holding the “American Spirit Award” banner. 

Practitioners won second place for their float and the grand prize for the overall group.

The beautifully decorated float had practitioners dressed as celestial maidens demonstrating the fifth exercise and a male practitioner demonstrating the first four exercises. The waist drum team followed, drumming to the music of Falun Dafa Is Good. The messages on the banners, such as “The World Needs Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance,” “The Truth Brings Hope,” and “Reject the CCP,” reminded people to return to tradition and stay away from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Practitioners also added a banner to the parade, “Thank you America for Giving Us Freedom.”

Touched by Practitioners

Josh Jackson, his wife, and his parents from Arizona were impressed by the Falun Dafa entry in the parade.

Mr. Jackson said, “It was impressive. The float and the drum team were great. I believe they practiced for a long time. Everyone was smiling. It was great and beautiful.” He said he met some Falun Gong practitioners and talked with them when he was a missionary in Argentina. “They are all good people, very kind,” he said.

Mr. Jackson’s wife, Fefe, said she liked the float and waist drummer very much. “The float was so beautiful. The colors were gorgeous. Everyone looked so happy, and their movements were very neat.”

Jackson’s parents also liked the Falun Gong team. His father, Timothy, said he particularly liked the waist drum performance. “I like their drum beats and movements. They were well choreographed and it was a wonderful performance. Every drummer was so happy and they were smiling. I like such smiles. After watching their team, I want to know more about them.”

George, who grew up in Coronado, said, “I come to the parade every year and I see [the Falun Dafa practitioners]. I like them very much. I like their music and their drums.”

Katie, who watched the parade for the first time, said that this was also the first time she heard about Falun Gong. “I like their drum team, and I also like the message on their banners: Reject the CCP.”