Three Kings Day Parade Comes Early To East Harlem
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An early celebration of Three Kings Day filled the streets of East Harlem on Friday.
El Museo Del Barrio sponsors the event, which included bands, floats, giant hand-made puppets and live camels marching across 106th Street and up Third Avenue.
This year's theme was "El Barrio Unido," or The United Neighborhood, and celebrates the city's diverse cultures and how their differences make each one unique.
"There is a lot of division in the Latino Community because we're all from different countries, but it's great to be able to come together and represent all of us and all of our successes and our stories," said community activist and Honorary King Angy Rivera.
"Many parades go down Fifth Avenue but ours goes into the streets of the neighborhood and really gets into the heart of el barrio," said El Museo del Barrio Deputy Director Gonzalo Casals.
Adding to the procession were about 3,000 school children from dozens of city schools.
The parade was held on Friday this year instead of Sunday since school children play such a big part.
"It's nice to walk around and celebrate the joy of the three king," said one parade goer.
"It's exciting. It's fun. And all the creative thing and wearing these costumes and being famous and all that stuff," said another parade goer.
Also known as the feast of the Epiphany, in many parts of Latin America the 12th day of Christmas, or Three Kings Day, is the biggest part of the holiday. It celebrates the three wise men or kings visiting the baby Jesus and bringing gifts.
The parade always has three honorary kings, but this year was the first time all three were women. They included New York City Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Fatima Shama, journalist Maria Hinojosa and community activist and Ask Angy founder Angy Rivera.
Three Kings Day is on January 6.