Radames Millan, Three Kings Day Parade
by Benjamin Fang
Jan 13, 2021 | 5965 views | 0 0 comments | 823 823 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The first Brooklyn Three Kings Day Parade took place on January 4, 1998.

Starting at Power Street and running down Graham Avenue to Broadway, more than 20,000 people attended the celebration. Nearly 1,000 participants, including local schools, churches, civic and cultural organizations, took part in the proceedings.

At the end of the parade, organizers distributed more than 2,000 toys to local children.

The Three Kings Day Parade along Graham Avenue has been an annual tradition in north Brooklyn for the past 24 years.

“It’s very important that the children of this community know the tradition,” said Radames Millan, founder and president of the parade. “This way, they can transmit it to future generations.”

Millan explained that Latino families don’t celebrate Santa Claus “as much as American people.” Instead they wait for the three wise men, otherwise known as the Magi or Three Kings, to deliver gifts.

This year, due to the pandemic, the annual parade was cancelled. Instead, Millan and his team collaborated with Woodhull Hospital to host a socially distanced outdoor gift distribution for local children. Though the event was a success, cancelling the parade felt “very bad,” Millan said.

“We never cancelled the parade because of any situation like snow, cold weather or anything like that, but COVID, that’s different,” he said. “We had to do it, we don’t want anybody to be contagious. It was the right thing to do.”

Next year will be the parade’s 25th anniversary, so the 76-year-old parade organizer said they’re going to double what they have done in years past, including having the camels and inviting children from the neighborhood.

“That’s our plan, it’s going to be even better,” Millan said. “We hope a lot of people participate. Let’s see what happens.”
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