Williamsburg finally celebrated its 21st annual Three Kings Parade Jan. 21, after having to reschedule because of frigid temperatures on Jan. 7.
This year, the parade was dedicated to the recovery of Puerto Rico and its people. Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy, Williamsburg, marched proudly down the avenue as the only Catholic school. Warmer weather brought the community out to cheer on their neighbors, schools and even some camels, donkeys and horses.
The godfather of the parade was Melvin Martinez, the assistant principal of P.S. 257.
Diana Torres, mother of Nicolas Torres, a fifth grader at Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy, was so proud of the school.
“Absolutely beautiful day,” she exclaimed. “We had collected for Puerto Rico, so to be able to continue that work and effort means a lot to so many families of the community. This was our first time marching in the parade as a school and we were very proud of everyone involved. We demonstrated unity, family, faith and hope. We were all so proud to be out there celebrating the day together.”
Assemblywoman Maritza Davila was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Brooklyn.
“Today is always such a special event for the community and today so many people are here to celebrate and have fun,” Davila said. “This year is even that much more significant by dedicating it to Puerto Rico. We are here to celebrate the Epiphany but also the resilience of our people. People still have no power or water and still need help. We are not too proud to beg. It takes a village and a lot of help is still needed.”
Eric Kun, a representative for North Brooklyn Progressive Democrats, said he was proud of the community.
“Today is all about community,” he said. “Seeing all the people here, we are showing that it is all about solidarity. The community is on full display to show their strength and to be together as one. Today is a very proud day for everyone and so many people wanted to be part of such a beautiful celebration.”
“This is a tradition that so many people in the neighborhood love and enjoy,” said Alex Rodriguez, a member of the parade committee. “This is our way to start off a new year with hope, faith and love. To see so many children here today is so important because they will be the ones organizing this parade one day. We hope they will be able to carry on the traditions and culture.”