Hundreds of people came out Saturday in Corona to mark one of the most celebrated holidays in the Latino community.
City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) held her third annual Three Kings Day Celebration at the Florence E. Smith Community Center, at 102-19 34th Ave., and many revelers took in the traditions of the Christian feast.
Community members dressed up as the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus and the Holy Family after his birth and recreated the moment where they gave him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Ferreras said the Hispanic community relishes the holiday because it brings everyone together.
“People want to come out and see the sights and sounds, but they also want to share some quality time with each other,” she said.
As part of the traditions of the holiday, which is also known as the Epiphany and Twelfth Night, children put their shoes by the door near their beds so the three kings will know how many youngsters are looking for presents. The next morning, the children find those gifts inside the shoes.
During the event, the young visitors received toys that were donated by area groups. The adults also got to have some treats of their own with a special raffle for gifts.
“Events like this keep the tradition going,” said Alirio Orduna, founder of the New York Military Youth Cadets, which helped organize the party.
Ferreras set up the event as a way for seniors and youth to mix as she urged the elders to bring their grandchildren.
“It’s about bringing together inter-generational groups together,” she said.
Several leaders from outside the neighborhood dropped by for the event, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, city Comptroller John Liu, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). Ferreras said their presence showed that the holiday’s value is growing.
“It helps [residents] know we are important because they are coming out of their way to Corona to celebrate with us,” the councilwoman said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2012 Community News Group
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