United States: Falun Gong Adds Peace and Serenity to Colourful Balloon Festival in Texas

On the afternoon of September 20th, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners from Houston, Austin, and Dallas participated in the Plano Balloon Festival for the second time. The exercise demonstration, dances and singing brought a feeling of peace and serenity to the hot summer day, and a performance from the Divine Land Marching Band resounded powerfully for all to hear. The spectators' responded enthusiastically.

Divine Land Marching Band Falun Gong exercise demonstration

The annual Plano Balloon Festival is well-known in north Texas. The festival is held every third weekend in September at Oak Point Park. There are two balloon launching times, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The event organiser estimated that about 80,000 people come to the event.

A practitioner named Ms. Zhang said, "We participated in the festival last year and the organisers were favourably impressed, so they invited us to come again this year. We were given two time slots to perform, including the Divine Land Marching Band's performance in front of the balloon launching field."

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m, the Falun Gong practitioners' performances attracted many people. They demonstrated the exercises, danced "Spirits of the Flower," performed an Erhu Solo, and Western practitioners sang songs composed by Dafa practitioners. The Divine Land Marching Band performed twice on the stage.

Six o'clock was the official balloon launching time. After 5 p.m., Oak Point Park was full of spectators that had come to see the balloons. Even the small hills far away were covered with onlookers. The people in the park gradually gathered in front of the launching field. The Divine Land Marching Band performed "Falun Dafa Is Great," "America the Beautiful," and "Drums and Trumpets Shake the World in Ten Directions." The conductor introduced the band to the audience, telling about its history, what Falun Gong is, and how people that believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are persecuted in China.

One of the organisers thanked the practitioners for participating in the festival again. She said she saw the Divine Land Marching Band's performance last year and was very impressed. In the end, she agreed to have the band march from the launching field to the entrance of the park so that more people could see and hear the band perform.

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