Estate Profit restaurant to host Three Kings Day celebration


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ST. CROIX - Hundreds of children from Estate Profit and surrounding neighborhoods will celebrate Three Kings Day on Sunday with gifts, food, drinks and lots of fun.

El Flamboyant Restaurant's owner Edwin Ortiz has been organizing a gift-giving event for the last 13 years.

This year, children will be able to play in inflatable bouncers and, with luck, win a brand new bicycle in a raffle. The event will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at El Flamboyant Restaurant.

Ortiz said he is from Estate Profit's predominantly poor Hispanic community and years ago he realized that many children had not received gifts either because their families were very poor or because their parents or families had been affected by drugs.

"We had many families that had been negatively impacted, but I think that was not a reason for the children to suffer," Ortiz said. "So I got involved and tried to make a difference and add some smiles to them for Three Kings Day," he said.

While the Estate Profit observation will be on Sunday, Monday is Three Kings Day. It is a date celebrated throughout Latin America, Spain, and in Hispanic communities across the United States.

Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany in other cultures, is the 12th day after Christmas, when the Magi arrived bearing gifts for baby Jesus. Traditionally, children receive gifts brought by the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar. The night before the celebration, the children traditionally leave a little bit of hay in their shoes or under their beds to feed the animals that come with the kings to bring their presents.

In his first year, Ortiz said he started out with only 50 presents and now the gift giving has evolved to a grand celebration with more than 500 gifts for not just children from Estate Profit but all over.

"No matter where they come from they can get a gift from us, Ortiz said. "Children deserve to be happy."

Gifts will include dolls, games, balls, cars, trucks, tea sets, jump ropes and more for children 3 to 10 years old.

On Monday, the Three Kings Day celebrations will move to the streets of Christiansted where residents will participate in a street tramp from Sunday Market Square to the Hendrick's Market with Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights. When the tramp, led by the Three Kings, arrives at the market, a free Crucian-Rican breakfast will be served.

The event celebrates Three Kings Day and the fusion of the Crucian and Puerto Rican cultures and traditions.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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