La Fiesta de Reyes Celebration
On Friday, January 6th we attended the "La Fiesta de Reyes" celebration at the Buhrer Dual Language Academy in Cleveland which was organized by our friend, Ms. Lucy Torres, Hispanic Liaison for the City of Cleveland.
According to Ms. Tammy Hanna, Community Relations Board Representative, at least 500 people signed up in advance to take part in this event and there were an abundance of walk-ins. Thus the gym was packed with people, most of whom were families with small children.
During the short program before the fun, Mr. Jose Gonzalez, Director of the Multilingual Multicultural Education Office told us that "La Fiesta de Reyes" had its roots in the Catholic/Christian traditions and signified the day that the three kings (or wise men) presented their gifts to the baby Jesus. We were thus motivated to do a little more research and learned that January 6th is also referred to as the "12th Day of Christmas", "Feast of the Epiphany" and "Three Kings Day."
Also speaking at the program which was coordinated by Ms. Torres were such people as the Reverend George Guzman who gave the Invocation; Captain Keith Sulzer of the 2nd District of the Cleveland Police Dept. who has been a consistent supporter of this yearly observance; and Mr. Jimmy Craciun, Vice President of the Cleveland Police Foundation who entertained the children with some magic tricks for a few minutes. Later there were performances by dancers from the Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center and games for the youngsters playfully negotiated by Pastor Nate Ortiz. Later, presents would be distributed by the "Three Kings" and there would be cake and other refreshments.
This was the very first time we had been to the Buhrer Dual Language Academy which is the home of the first dual language education program in Ohio. We met Ms. Michele Sanchez, its principal, and really liked what she wrote in her letter on the school's website which was, in part, "we will continue to focus on ensuring our children are proficient in both Spanish and English by developing high academic and linguistic abilities in both languages."
And in the gym where the "La Fiesta de Reyes" program took place, there was artwork containing the words "Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity/Celebrando nuestra diversidad."
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC