Three Kings Parade Arrives in Williamsburg [PHOTOS]
After a weeks-long delay due to snow and the bitter cold weather at the beginning of January, los tres reyes finally arrived in Williamsburg this weekend as the Three Kings Parade took to Graham Avenue on Sunday.
The event couldn’t have been held on a better day, bright and sunny, with temperatures above 50 degrees—perfect for marchers and spectators alike. The 21st iteration of the annual tradition drew local politicians, city officials, bands, schoolkids and traditional dancers—along with camels, horses and a manger’s worth of livestock—to the streets. As bicycle crews of retirees rode past and community groups marched behind their signs, trucks pulled floats with live bands and DJs blasting music, moving spectators to dance.
While the Puerto Rican community was out in force, along with lifelong residents, the parade threw into stark relief the changes in demographics seen in North Brooklyn over the years. “Why is everyone out on the street?” asked one aqua-haired hipster, rolling down a passenger side window to see what was going on. “What’s the story with this parade?” asked a couple in their 30s. They said they’d just left the house to pick up some take-out, but bought some cotton candy from a vendor working the parade. All along the route, the two Brooklyns were well represented: families waving to friends and loved ones in the parade stood next to bemused transplants stopping amid brunch plans and laundromat runs to take in the spectacle.
Local politicians like Assemblymember Maritza Davila and District Leader Tommy Torres were in attendance, and a sign was unveiled honoring Joseph Acaba, a NASA astronaut of Puerto Rican descent currently aboard the International Space Station. Most importantly, displaced Puerto Rican families currently in Brooklyn were able to take part in the day of religious and cultural celebration, riding parade floats emblazoned with the continuing message of solidarity: Puerto Rico se levanta—Puerto Rico will rise!
Check out photos from the event below:
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