This (2006) is the seventh year that the Inland Northwest Falun Dafa practitioners have participated in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Fourth of July Festival Parade. Before the parade started practitioners distributed a large number of beautiful stemmed and sparkling mini lotus flowers under the bright summer sun to people lined up along the parade route of more than fifteen blocks. The lotus flowers go very quickly every year as soon as we begin to hand them out. It is never surprising that the children want the flowers, however this year grown men approached us for them as well, and we happily provided lotus flowers for everyone. Many people asked us as we walked along and wished them a Happy Fourth of July what the flowers were for, which led to clarifying the truth about Falun Gong.
The Falun Gong float was decorated with a blue base, beneath a wide arrangement of large lotus flowers, two of which are designed to each hold a practitioner sitting in the lotus position. It looked like a clear blue pool with lotus flowers springing forth. Along the sides were banners for Falun Dafa and Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance. Because of the many parades scheduled in our region and the participation of Falun Gong in a number of them, we were able to have five practitioners on the float showcasing the Falun Dafa exercises and another to photograph and greet the crowds. Two Falun Dafa supporters helped drive the float.
The Coeur d’Alene parade is fairly long and attracts large crowds of onlookers. Whenever we peeked out on the crowd as we performed our motions we saw folks waving or clapping and cheering or holding up their lotus flowers we had given them. They seemed to enjoy watching the gentle motions and seeing our banners of Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance. Each year, we see more positive reactions from the crowds at this parade as the public becomes more and more familiar with Falun Gong.