On November 24th, a grand Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in downtown Houston, Texas. This is the 56th annual parade in the fourth largest city in the U.S. According to the organising committee, the parade has been improving every year, and it was estimated that more than 100,000 people came out to watch the parade while more than 400,000 watched it on television at home.
|Falun Dafa "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance" banner||Minghui Chinese school students|
The parade started at 9 a.m. promptly, led by a dozen women on horseback and the Mayor's limousine. Among many other parade entries, there were school students' skating groups, H-E-B's float, MacDonald's big shoe, firefighters, and cleaning trucks. This is the third time that Dafa practitioners participated in the parade, and their placement was promoted to the first ten units in the parade lineup, from almost the end of the procession as it was in previous years.
The 100-practitioner strong Falun Gong group consisted of several parts: a Falun Dafa "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance" banner, a Falun Gong exercise demonstrating troupe, a Tang Dynasty attire troupe, a waist drum and Tang drum troupe, Minghui Chinese School students and another "Falun Dafa" banner.
|Traditional dance performance||Waist drum performance||Joyful spectators|
Along the parade route, practitioners repeatedly received warm applause from the spectators. Some also imitated the poses and movements of the practitioners who were demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises. There were also people who enjoyed the traditional Chinese attire and dance. Meanwhile, the drumbeats playing along with the song, "Falun Dafa is Good," were very refreshing. A lot of people tried to capture the precious scene with their cameras and camcorders.
The crew of a TV station which was broadcasting the parade live had the microphone of their video camera track the "Falun Dafa is Good" song until it reached the end of the cable. Following behind the practitioners' group, another reporter carried her video camera to record the group. The excited reporter asked, "Which group is this?" A practitioner then wrote in her notebook: "Falun Dafa." She was very happy and said: "Thank you, thank you!"
There were also some spectators who greeted the practitioners by saying, "Ni Hao" ["Hello" in Chinese]. More spectators, however, expressed their joy and appreciation with warm applause.
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