Three Kings Day celebrated in Humboldt Park

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Since 1995, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center has been sponsoring a Three Kings Day celebration in Humboldt Park for families.

The holiday, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrates the biblical tale of the the Three Wise Men who visited baby Jesus shortly after his birth.

"It is probably the most important date in the Puerto Rican ritual calendar," said Jose E. Lopez, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Executive Director.

The Three Kings brought with them bikes and other gifts for kids. The presents stretched the kids' almost frozen faces with smiles.

"You know the Hispanic culture kind of believes in Santa but they rely more on the Three Kings than Santa," said Rafael Leyva, who came with his children.

The holiday is celebrated in many parts of the world, but primarily in Latin America.

The Latin American Motorcycle Association always volunteers as the Three Kings for the Humboldt Park celebration.

"We like positive stuff to help out the community and help out the kids," said Tito Rodriguez, a Latin American Motorcycle Association member.

Normally it's a much larger celebration, including with a parade. But for the second year in a row, organizers have had to make adjustments due to the pandemic.

"COVID has impacted every aspect of life. We are doing this social distancing. We are doing it to celebrate our Puerto Rican culture," Lopez said.

Rebecca Medina brought her nieces and nephew.

"I think it is wonderful that we are able to come together as a community and be able to provide resources for one another, especially the kids," she said.

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center has provided thousands of gifts to kids over the decades.

Artist Bell had a quick message for all the organizers.

"Thank you and I am out," he said.

Bell left with a new bike.
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