FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG HOSTS RECEPTION IN HONOR OF THREE KINGS DAY
Celebration in Honor of the Epiphany
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today hosted a reception at Gracie Mansion to celebrate La Fiesta De Los Tres Reyes Magos. Three Kings Day, or the Feast of the Epiphany, marks the day when three wise men, journeying from afar and guided by a radiant star, brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. This holiday is celebrated throughout the world and especially in the Caribbean, Latin America, and parts of Europe. Here in New York City, El Museo del Barrio holds a festive parade that pays homage to the legend of the Three Kings. According to tradition, if children have behaved well, the three kings will bring gifts to them overnight. The Latino community in New York continues to celebrate this traditional holiday, as well as Christmas. Joining the Mayor at the reception were Deputy Mayor Carol Robles Roman, Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares and El Museo del Barrio Executive Director Julian Zugazagoitia.
"El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos is a wonderful celebration led by our city's dynamic Latino communities," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Communities across the City and the world gather on this day not only to pay tribute to the story of three men who were guided by their faith but also to mark a renewed commitment to hope and peace in the New Year."
Students from PS 173 in the Bronx performed holiday songs at the Three Kings Day reception. This year's Three Kings will be portrayed by Jesús "Papoleto" Meléndez, a recipient of a 2001 Fellowship in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and one of the pioneers of the Nuyorican poets' movement; Dominican-born Artist Freddy Rodriguez, a 2006 recipient of the 24th Annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design for the recently installed Flight 587 memorial; and Ramon Ponce, Founder and Director of the Mariachi Academy of New York City.
El Museo del Barrio, one of New York's leading Latino cultural institutions, representing the diversity of art and culture in the Caribbean and Latin America, organizes the annual Three Kings Day parade. El Museo del Barrio continues to have a significant impact on the cultural life of New York City and is a major stop on Manhattan's Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. El Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 by a group of Puerto Rican educators, artists, parents and community activists in East Harlem's Spanish-speaking El Barrio neighborhood.
Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958