Libby, Montana USA – Practitioners Participate in Logger Days Parade
On June 27, 2009 practitioners from Spokane, Washington and Kalispell, Montana participated in the Libby, Montana Logger Days annual parade in the beautiful mountains of northwest Montana. Libby, Montana is a small town and has recently received national attention, as they declared a public health emergency in that town due to people being exposed to asbestos-contaminated vermiculite which occurs in ore and processed vermiculite from the Libby mines. Exposure to asbestos fibers of this type are hazardous to humans when inhaled, and has caused lung cancer, with many people being ill and many having died from this disease. We thought that Libby needed the Fa and that it would be very good for them.
It was a beautiful sunny day and our lotus flower cart delighted the people of all ages. We gave out countless lotus flowers and many were interested in knowing more about Falun Dafa, and where they could find out more information. The children were so respectful and waited patiently for us to hand them a flower and always thanked us. People lighted up when they saw our flowers and they very much appreciated our being there.
Northwest Practitioners Participate in Lind, Washington Parade
Lind Parade - June 2009
June 13, 2009 marked the third visit practitioners have made to the small community of Lind, Washington, that swells from a few hundred to a few thousand people in anticipation of this annual parade, BBQ in the park and a combine-demolition derby. Lind is situated amidst the rolling wheat fields of eastern Washington, and on this beautiful sunny day, Falun Dafa practitioners were warmly welcomed.
From the parade organizer to the fans along the parade route, lotus flowers were received with enthusiasm, and some even shared that they still had their lotus flower from a previous year. With each year there is growing interest in the practice of Falun Dafa.
Spokane practitioners participated in Earth Day 2009 on April 26, 2009 at Spokane’s Riverfront Park. Paper lotus flowers were given to passersby and children learned to make the attractive flowers.
Falun Gong practitioners were welcomed by citizens of Bayview, Idaho to participate in the annual “Bayview Daze” celebration and parade on July 5, 2008.
Bayview is a small town situated on picturesque Pend Orielle lake in northern Idaho. This is the fist year that practitioners have participated in the Bayview parade.
The Falun Gong procession included three celestial maidens distributing paper lotus flowers and flyers, a banner listing the principles of Falun Gong, “Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance,” and a small float with a practitioner demonstrating the fifth Falun Gong exercise.
Over 900 lotus flowers and flyers were distributed to the parade audience. The Falun Gong parade entry won third place in the parade’s specialty division.
April 19, 2008 marked the annual Earth Day celebration in Spokane. Local practitioners were again invited to participate in the event at Spokane’s Riverfront Park. This was the ninth year that Falun Gong practitioners have participated in this Earth Day event.
Information on Falun Dafa was available, and paper lotus flower making was taught to the visitors, and drew quite a crowd.
Montana: Practitioners Participate in University of Montana Homecoming Parade in Missoula
– Practitioners from Montana, Idaho, and Washington participated in the annual University of Montana Homecoming Parade on September 29, 2007 in Missoula Montana.
This is the first year that practitioners have taken part in this parade. The weather was cloudy and cool, but this didn’t seem to hamper the spirited audience. The Falun Gong entry was awarded third place in the non-profit category by parade judges.
The Falun Gong float consisted of two large lotus flowers, and many paper lotus flowers. Practitioners riding on the float demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises, and others distributed paper lotus flowers and flyers.
The audience was large and supportive, offering warm applause to the Falun Gong procession. Practitioners talked with other parade participants prior to the parade, including a radio station. They expressed interest in the upcoming Human Rights Torch Relay event planned for Missoula.
Missoula is home of the University of Montana, and many students, alumni and children were in the audience, dressed in school-color burgundy jackets and sweatshirts. Many gestured with “heshi” to practitioners on the float. Many children and adults seemed surprised and pleased by such a peaceful and majestic parade entry.
Practitioners hope to participate in this Missoula parade in the future.
Practitioners Participate in Valleyfest Celebration for Seventh Consecutive Year
On September 22, 2007, Falun Gong practitioners from Spokane participated in the annual Spokane Valleyfest Celebration in Mirabeau Park of the Spokane Valley. This is the eighteenth year of the Valleyfest festival, which attracts over 30,000 people each year. Included are music, arts, and activities for children of all ages. This year is the seventh year that Falun Gong has participated in this event.
Practitioners hosted a booth and taught people how to fold paper lotus flowers. Flowers were brought in a semi-assembled state, so visitors could get hands-on experience making the flowers. During this one-day event, over 700 flowers were created and distributed to visitors. Each flower had a tag which read “The world needs Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” and included the moral discipline reminder and meaning of the lotus flower.
One difference from previous years was that many visitors this year asked about the meaning of the lotus flower, and what it signifies. Many adults also read the flower tags, with this meaning, to their young children. Some visitors also mentioned that they still had their lotus flowers from the previous year.
As practitioners were packing up to leave, a group of children stopped to thank them for the flowers they had received earlier during the day.