Three Kings Day spreads tradition |

Three Kings Day spreads tradition

Frank Fisher, Of the Record staff

On Wednesday, Jan 10, the after-school program from Holy Cross Ministry celebrated Three Kings Day at McPolin Elementary School. The celebration took place four days after the official day of celebration, which occurs 12 days after Christmas, but no one seemed to mind.

In Latin American countries on Jan. 6, Three Kings Day celebrates the three wise men that, according to the Bible, followed the star of Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus.

Around 100 kids from three after-school programs including Holy Cross Ministry and some from the Park City club of Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake, took part in the McPolin celebration. Kids ate Rosca de Reyes, sweet bread, then got to choose presents traditionally brought by the Three Kings, but in this case, supplied by the International Rotary Club.

Alfonso Brito, Coordinator of the after-school program at Holy Cross Ministry, and member of the Rotary Club, said the club had supplied about 200 toys for the event.

Efrain Valeriano, 9, a McPolin student, found el Nino (a baby toy baked into the sweet bread) in his dessert, which by tradition means he has to host the next party on Feb. 2.

Oyuki Orosco, 8, a McPolin student, used to live in Mexico, and had some insight on the Three Kings. "If you don’t get many presents from Santa, the Three Kings will bring you presents if you’re good," she said. "One king is tall, one is medium, and one is little and has a white beard. He has a shadow like a chicken."

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The kids lined up and several at a time got to choose toys. Anisbeth Martinez, 8, a McPolin student, chose finger paints. "The best part of this is to see how much the kids enjoy getting the gifts," Brito said.

Brito said the Holy Cross Ministry after-school program takes place Monday-Thursday, held two days at McPolin, and two days at St. Mary’s Church. He said around 50 kids are in the program, which includes help with homework, literacy help, arts, crafts, dance, swimming and photography. The program is open to children grades K-6. Brito said "We always try to teach with fun."

For more information about Holy Cross Ministries, visit , or call (801) 261-3440