Local families celebrate Three Kings Day

Con­cilio hosts a party in hon­or of the feast of the Epi­phany.

Vo­lun­teers and board mem­bers dressed as the Three Kings de­liv­er gifts to chil­dren in Con­cilio pro­grams. COUR­TESY OF CON­CILIO

For some neigh­bor­hood fam­il­ies, it’s not just Christ­mas that is the reas­on for the sea­son. 

About 150 people came out to Con­cilio’s Ban­quet Hall in North­ern Liber­ties last Fri­day even­ing to cel­eb­rate the feast of the Epi­phany, known to some as “Three Kings Day.” 

Ju­lie Coun­sler Emig, deputy dir­ect­or at Con­cilio, said this an­nu­al event has been held for dec­ades by the or­gan­iz­a­tion that provides a vari­ety of so­cial ser­vices and cul­tur­al op­por­tun­it­ies to the sur­round­ing com­munity.  

Con­cilio helps kids in foster care and of­fers an after school pro­gram to chil­dren in North­ern Liber­ties, Fishtown and oth­er sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods. 

Three Kings Day is of­fi­cially ob­served 12 days after Christ­mas on Jan. 6 and is cel­eb­rated by many fam­il­ies of Latino des­cent. 

The hol­i­day re­mem­bers the day when the three wise men traveled to present gifts to the baby Je­sus. 

Most of the at­tendees were chil­dren and their fam­il­ies who par­ti­cip­ate in the after school and foster care pro­grams. 

Din­ner and hot chocol­ate was served and there was a cul­tur­al por­tray­al of the story of the three wise men, with sev­er­al mem­bers of the board of trust­ees at Con­cilio play­ing the lead roles. 

Also in at­tend­ance at the event were dance per­formers “Mam­bodelphia.” The Phil­lie Phanat­ic made a guest ap­pear­ance. 

Con­sler Emig said the event is not only a cel­eb­ra­tion of the tra­di­tion­al hol­i­day, but also a chance for the or­gan­iz­a­tion to fo­cus on the chil­dren who are most in need. 

Gifts donated by Health­Part­ners Plans Phil­adelphia were presen­ted to chil­dren at the event. 

“It’s huge,” Coun­selor Emig said. “The kids al­ways go crazy, and the par­ents are ex­tremely ap­pre­ci­at­ive.” 

At the end of the day, though, the chil­dren who at­ten­ded the event re­ceived more than just gifts. 

“A lot of the kids we serve are Afric­an Amer­ic­an, so it’s cool to for them to get to learn about dif­fer­ent cul­tures and ap­pre­ci­ate di­versity,” Coun­selor Emig said. 

“It’s nice for us to re­mind them of the sig­ni­fic­ance of the his­tory and the story.” 

You can reach at cdifiore@bsmphilly.com.

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