Reading this report in the Coast Rider makes me think we should visit Torrevieja for next year’s parade of the Three Kings.
In Torrevieja the Royal Pages had been hard at work gathering in letters and messages from children throughout the town who visited the specially erected tent in the main square. On Saturday afternoon a huge crowd began to arrive in the port area and all along the boardwalk for this most magical night of the year. As the afternoon sun dipped towards the horizon, eyes strained across the harbour looking for the boat that would bring the three Kings to Torrevieja. At around 5.45 pm the wishes of the waiting thousands were answered as the cruiser appropriately called ‘Espejo de Torrevieja’ in honour of the well-known Habaneras, came into sight making its way towards the jetty. As the boat eventually drew alongside the quay the Three Kings and their attendants waved to the waiting crowds who cheered madly at three of their most favourite characters. The red carpet had been laid in honour of the royal guests and there to greet them were several representatives of the Town Hall led by the Mayor Eduardo Dolón, the councillor for fiestas María Dolores Sánchez Roca and the deputy mayor Joaquin Albaladejo. King Melchor led the way followed by King Gaspar and then King Baltazar. It was King Melchor as is customary who made the speech of thanks to the Mayor and councillors then it was time for them to make their way past the waiting crowds to the floats made ready and lined up along the road leading out of the port towards the Hombre del Mar. As they made their way along the lines of waiting people there was plenty of opportunity for the Three Kings to shake hands with many of the smiling excited children. The enthusiasm of the crowd was palpable and they would have been quite happy for the Kings to have remained there all evening. That was not to be though because they had many more people to see, waiting patiently stood several deep along the main streets of the town. So the Kings and their itinerary set off in the procession around the streets of the town which would end at the nativity scene made ready in front of the Inmaculada church.
A total of 400 people took part in the procession, all dressed in colourful costumes including Arabs from the deserts of the East and Egyptians from the Nile Valley. There were mounted soldiers in shining armour and many dancers swirling through the streets of Torrevieja. But perhaps the stars of the procession as far as the children are concerned, were the many characters from Disney films including Cinderella, the Lion King and Aladdin and a number of live animals. The bands of the Unión Musical Torrevejense and la Sociedad Musical Ciudad de Torrevieja provided the music and those taking part in the procession gave out handfuls of sweets to the waiting children along the route of the procession, always a very popular aspect of all local parades. The procession ended at the Inmaculada church where the Three Kings brought the gifts to the baby Jesus in a tableau presented by members of the Municipal Theatre School and the theatre group of the Amas de Casa Association. The Kings were then formally received by the Mayor of Torrevieja Eduardo Dolón in the Town Hall. The Kings had a busy weekend also visiting local residences to bring gifts to the older residents of the town and the Torrevieja hospital where they give presents to those children unfortunate enough to be in hospital at this time of year.
The question is, “where should I go to get the best photos?” The arrival at the port would be good but then I might get better close ups as the parade moves down the streets and of course the presentation at the front of the church would be most symbolic.