Camels, llamas, ponies march down Graham Ave. for Three Kings Day Parade

We three kings: The men of the hour parade down Graham Avenue in Williamsburg for the 20th Brooklyn Three Kings Day Parade on Jan. 8.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

They were hot to trot!

Camels, llamas, ponies, donkeys, and sheep marched down Graham Avenue in Williamsburg with members of Brooklyn’s Latino community on Sunday for the Brooklyn Three Kings Day Parade, in what an organizer says was a triumph of community spirit over the weekend’s below-freezing weather.

“It was cold, but the warm spirit and warm hearts of our community came out,” said Tommy Torres, a local Democratic district leader and a member of the parade’s organizing committee.

Three Kings Day is a Christian holiday — widely celebrated in Latin American countries — that commemorated the titular monarchs’ visit to the baby Jesus.

And for 20 years now, members of Williamsburg schools, churches, and community groups have marked the occasion by marching alongside men dressed as the Magi and real animals acting as the various creatures from the manger, according to Torres,

“This is a tradition that’s been going on in Latin American countries for a lifetime, and it is celebrated a lot in communities [here] — the Puerto Rican community especially,” he said.

Organizers also hand out gifts to kids as the kings did, Torres said — although more often toys than frankincense and myrrh.

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at rbrown@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.

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