1999 Three Kings Day ParadeBy Jose B. Rivera
The 22nd Annual Three Kings Day Parade was held on Wednesday, January 6, 1999 in El Barrio. The parade featured a cast of hundreds including school children from all over the city, Bronx civic groups, many dressed as kings, animals - camels, sheep, and donkeys and El Barrio’s own residents.
El Museo Del Barrio, the parade’s sponsors, made this year’s event bigger and better than ever. Among the parade’s participants El Museo included Puerto Rican folk artist and musician Benny Ayala, Nuyorican poet and educator, Papoleto Melendez and internationally acclaimed Puerto Rican visual artist Antonio Martorell. The three artists were dressed as the three kings, Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar respectively. The parade’s “Godmother” was the one and only Ms. Malin Falu of radio WADO/AM fame.
Also included in the mix were local and not so local politicians. Councilmembers Philip Reed, William Perkins and Jose Rivera (from the Bronx) were present. As was the “Mayor” of Harlem Leslie Wyche, representing Deputy Mayor Ninfa Segarra. (see picture below). Famous East Harlem personalities were also present; senior citizen activist Petra Allende, Retired Legal Aide Director Gloria Quinones, President of Aurora Communications, Aurora Flores, activist and news photographer Eliazer Berrios, and Felipe Ventegeant of Gabriel and Associates.
Musician Yomo Torro provided the vocals to the music out of back of a flatbed truck. He was excellent. Many news organizations provided coverage of the event including the New York Daily News, The New York Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, WABC, WNBC, Fox, WCBS, New York 1, Channel 1, Channel 41, Channel 47, and other TV news stations. And let us not leave out some of the radio stations, WCBS, WADO, and Caliente 105.9. Forgive us of we missed anyone.
The parade lasted for two hours, started a little late, but went well. The parade route took it from East 106th Street and Madison Avenue to 106th and Third where it turned north up to 116th Street. It then went south on Lexington Avenue back to 106th and Madison Avenue. It was a blistering cold day, but all participants kept warm with Yomo’s music.
Many Kudos go to El Museo Del Barrio, especially to: Director Suzanna Leval, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Neyda Martinez and to Director of Education and outreach Miriam De Uriarte.
The pictures for this year’s parade can be seen at: Picture Gallery under Events/Three King’s Day.