FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 06, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG MARCHES IN PARADE AND HOSTS RECEPTION IN HONOR OF THREE KINGS DAY
Celebration in Honor of the Epiphany
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today marched in the 28th Annual Three Kings Day Parade in El Barrio and hosted a reception this evening at Gracie Mansion to celebrate La Fiesta De Los Tres Reyes Magos. The holiday, popular throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and parts of Europe, honors the arrival of the three wise kings from separate lands bearing gifts to the baby Jesus. Joining the Mayor at the reception were Deputy Mayor Carol Robles Roman, former Congressman Herman Badillo, Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares, El Museo del Barrio Executive Director Julian Zugazagoitia, New York State Assembly Members Luis Diaz, Felix Ortiz, Michael Benjamin and New York State Senator Martin Dilan.
"El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos marks a magnificent tradition, and the parade brings the community together in celebration" said Mayor Bloomberg. "It is a chance to rejoice with family and friends and to renew our commitment to faith, hope, and charity in the New Year."
Although the Western Christian Church observes December 25th as Christ's birthday, the Eastern Christian Church recognizes January 6th as the celebration of the nativity. Families who celebrate Three Kings Day instruct their children that if they are good, the three kings will bring them gifts overnight. The Latino community continues to celebrate their traditional holiday, as well as Christmas.
Mayor Bloomberg marched alongside more than 2,000 school children from across the City and this year's Three Kings, Moises Perez, founder and Executive Director of Alianza Dominicana, Augustin Díaz, community leader, and Jesus "Papoleto" Melendez, a recipient of a 2001 Fellowship in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and much-beloved poet from el barrio. As in past years live animals, lively music and large colorful puppets representing the Three Kings were also part of the parade.
El Museo del Barrio, the City's only museum dedicated to Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art, organizes the parade. El Museo del Barrio has evolved into New York's leading Latino cultural institution, representing the diversity of art and culture in the Caribbean and Latin America.
El Museo del Barrio thrives on the sustained excellence of its collections, exhibitions and public programming. El Museo del Barrio serves as a bridge and catalyst between the Latino population, their diverse cultural heritage, and the rich artistic offering of New York City. The mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States.
Ed Skyler / Silvia Alvarez (212) 788-2958
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