The annual Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade was held on October 8, 2007 in Kitchener-Waterloo. (http://www.oktoberfest.ca/)
Over 300,000 spectators lined the streets to watch the second largest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the world (the one in Germany is the largest). This year there were 50 floats and 16 quality marching bands participating.
The Tian Guo Marching Band, composed of over 120 Falun Gong practitioners, was the only Chinese group invited to the parade.
Prior to the start of the parade, a reporter interviewed one of the organizers, Mark Sinden. He said, "I welcome Falun Gong's Band to join us for the first time. Many people saw their performance at the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival in St. Catharines and were amazed. I believe we will have an even better performance today".
The band received an enthusiastic response from the audience. 11-year old Drew said, "I really like The Falun Gong Marching Band. They are awesome". Waterloo resident Jacqueline Schmidt stated, "The band is grand and magnificent. I hope they come every year". Her 6-year old daughter Sophie immediately added that she also enjoyed the performance. A Chinese woman from Shanghai took pictures of the band while saying, "Great! Magnificent"!
Many of the parade marshals were astonished that the band played music non-stop for the entire 7 km march. After the performance, 3 parade organizers approached The Tian Guo Marching Band's coordinator to invite them to perform in several upcoming parades.