[lang_en]Unfazed by the cold: Thousands Celebrate the 15th Three Kings Day Winter Festival in Humboldt Park[/lang_en]



Jonathan Rivera Lizardi

On the day of the epiphany, thousands of children gathered at the Humboldt Park Field House to receive gifts from the Three Wise Men. Moments earlier, braving the cold winds, Humboldt Park families, elected officials and community leaders began to parade down Division Street towards the Field House to commence the 15th Annual Three Kings Day Winter Festival on Paseo Boricua. The parade took off from Rebaño Church (2435 W. Division St.) where parents received tickets for the gift-giveaway.

Standing under Puerto Rican streetlights, spectators watched on as children packed into trolleys, youth walked alongside the horse drawn carriage with Los Tres Reyes Magos, not wanting to miss a thing. As the crowd marched, Paseo Boricua business owners and residents waved and took photos of the Three Kings, many of them behind the warmth of their windows.

The spirit of this important cultural celebration was not to be denied as the lively eyes and enthusiastic cheers of children made Old Man Winter irrelevant. Once at the Field House, all present were treated to creamy hot chocolate, courtesy of a special collaboration between the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), under leadership of Maddi Elga Amil, and Bustelo. The volunteers and members of Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA) handed out over 1,000 toys.

Many Boricuas came back once again to El Barrio for this yearly event, which would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Alderman Billy Ocasio (26th Ward), and the coordination of the Division Street Business Development Association (DSBDA), Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC), Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA), Chicago Park District-Humboldt Park, Toys for Tots, Marine Corps and the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration.[/lang_en]

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