(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa Practitioners participated in the Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights in Ida Township, Michigan at 7 p.m. on December 3, 2022. Out of 120 parade entries, they were the only Chinese group.
Practitioners from Michigan, Ohio, and Windsor (Canada), participated. Their entry featured a flower boat, a banner team, and energetic waist drummers. The banners were written in both English and Chinese, “Falun Dafa Teaches Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Meditation For Mind and Body,” “Falun Dafa Is Good,” “The World Needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
One of the many local activities to usher in the holiday season, the Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights is eagerly looked forward to by local residents. People from surrounding states, such as Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin travel to Michigan to enjoy the festivities.
The festival was founded in 1982 by the Ida Civic Club and was sponsored by local area organisations. It began with a small craft show and children’s lunch with Santa and expanded to ice sculpting, chainsaw art, ice skating, fireworks, and a two-and-a-half-hour extravaganza of the Parade of Lights.
The parade units are lit with thousands of lights including fire trucks and floats from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Canada. This year the festival attracted over 50,000 spectators and was telecast on cable television and the Internet by Monroe Public Access Cable Television (MPACT).
Many people loudly cheered after reading the information on the banners, “We agree with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance!” Others called out, “We believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance!” or, “Thank you! You are the best!”
Practitioners Invited by State Senator to Participate in the Parade of Lights
Representatives from the Michigan Falun Dafa Association went to the state capitol in Lansing on May 12 to receive Michigan Senate Resolution 126 from Senator Dale W. Zorn. The resolution recognizes May 13, 2022, as Falun Dafa Day.
When practitioners told Senator Zorn that they participate in local activities to tell people about Falun Dafa, he mentioned the annual Parade of Lights and invited them to participate in it. They happily agreed.
The local Falun Dafa Association coordinator Ms. Zhang said that practitioners participated in the Ida Township parade in 2006. Afterward, parade organisers wrote a thank you letter to practitioners. The letter read, “We kept hearing spectators cheering for your flower float. The colorful flower float is very beautiful and the fairies and waist drum team are one of a kind. We are very happy that Falun Dafa is introduced to the people here in Ida Township and will forever leave a beautiful memory.”
Spectators Praise the Principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance
Despite the freezing winter weather, people are enthusiastic about the parade and both sides of the street were lined with spectators. Many were surprised when they saw practitioners and were heard exclaiming, “This is a Chinese group!”
Ms. Riley, owner of Dundee Antiques and Art store said, “I agree with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We welcome Falun Dafa practitioners, especially those who are persecuted. We hope that one day we will truly have freedom, a freedom that is not being threatened. In the U.S. we can freely express our thoughts. I am very happy to see practitioners participate in the parade this year.”
Dan McClung is a chief executive officer of a software company that provides verification tools for the aerospace and automotive electronics industries. He was happy to see practitioners at the parade. He said he’s heard about Falun Dafa and how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecutes them. Dan happily greeted audiences when he saw the parade was a live broadcast on New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV).
Dan said that the CCP has negatively impacted the world’s economy. He was happy to see practitioners at the parade and said, “They are truly admirable and outstanding! Participating in this parade is a good opportunity to promote ways of benefiting one’s physical and mental health.”
“We need to let more people know about Falun Dafa!”
Mary, the practitioner who designed the flower boat, said, “We were met with many challenges. Because of the harsh and cold weather, it was hard for us to put the flower boat together. However, practitioners worked as a team and we managed to build a beautiful flower boat that everyone liked!”
Wearing a fairy costume, Sonora, 17, stood on the flower boat and greeted spectators on both sides of the street. She said, “I am happy to be able to have this opportunity and do something meaningful. We need to let more people know about Falun Dafa!”
She said that after she observed the positive changes in her mother she started to practice Falun Dafa as well. Sonora said, “I noticed that my mother became calm, gentle, and happier after she began practicing!”
Chinese version available