Three Kings Day celebration resumes in Meriden – Meriden Record-Journal

MERIDEN — The Meriden Library was alive with children and festive music to celebrate Three Kings Day on Sunday afternoon.

Coming through the Meriden Mall, it was clear that the holiday season wasn’t over. Three Kings Day, or Día de Los Reyes, was in full celebration with the community.

The event, sponsored by the Carrero family, has been taking place for about 50 years.

Genaro Carrero Jr. said that this is the first year he has done this event without the help of his father, Genaro Carrero, who died in 2020.

“This was something my family started about 50 years ago,” Carrero said. “The library has been fantastic, and they have been hosting us forever.”

Due to the pandemic, the event hasn’t been celebrated at the library for the last two years.

Carrero said there has been an overwhelming response from the community donating toys to give out as gifts. The gifts were given to children ages eight and under.

“We even had people still donating yesterday for today’s celebration, and we appreciate the community support so much,” Carrero said.

Carrero said everyone thinks it’s just their family, but it’s a team effort with the Meriden Library and the Cardona family. He also said that any leftover toys are saved and used for next year’s celebration.

The event kicked off at 1 p.m. with a procession around the library with the two families and the three kings, who were Maloney High School class of 2022 students — Gabriel Carrero, Dominick Miner, and Ryan Rosario.

“Seeing the kids’ faces when they receive the gifts is my favorite part of all of this,” Carrero said.

This tradition on the one Sunday each expands past Carrero, his wife, and their son. Carrero’s cousins and other family members helped in various ways throughout the afternoon.

Carrero said it was 10 years ago when he and his wife really got involved in the celebration.

Festival music echoed throughout the library, and many families and kids sat and watched the positive energy coming from the traditional festive songs.

“This is the loudest I think we will ever be in the library,” Hector Cardona said.

Cardona played the acoustic guitar and was one of the singers for the entertainment.

Meriden Library Director Rebecca Starr said that normally the library is closed on Sundays. But for one Sunday out of the entire year, they open it up for the Three Kings Day celebration.

It’s one of the library’s biggest volunteer events, Starr said.

“Everyone here is a volunteer,” Starr said. “Even staff at the library came in on their day off to help.”

Starr said that many Maloney High School students help organize the gifts and sort them out into the proper containers. The bins with the toys are separated by age, so after the children check-in and get a tag with their age, a volunteer knows where to find the age-appropriate gift.

Carrero said that Starr was one of the original volunteers for the event previous to the pandemic.

“The library made a video of Three Kings Day, and it’s fantastic,” Carrero said.

The video featured the book “Story of the Three Wise Kings,” by Meriden native Thomas Anthony “Tomie” dePaola, who died in March 2020.

Carrero said each year, the event draws in about 100 to 130 children.

“We expect to be close to 100 children, maybe more,” Carrero said. “The crowd came right in at the start of the event, and there was a steady line of children today.”

Among those in attendance was Democratic state Rep. Jack Fazzino, who was sworn in this past Wednesday at the state Capitol. This is Fazzino’s first term representing the 83rd District, which covers parts of Berlin, Cheshire, and Meriden.

“This is a wonderful celebration and very festive,” Fazzino said. “It’s great to see the community together celebrating the Three Kings Day.”

Fazzino said he celebrated the holiday a little bit, but not to this extent.

“This is a very meaningful celebration to the community, and it’s great to see everyone celebrating,” Fazzino said.

nzappone@record-journal.com

MERIDEN — The Meriden Library was alive with children and festive music to celebrate Three Kings Day on Sunday afternoon.
Coming through the Meriden Mall, it was clear that the holiday season wasn’t over. Three Kings Day, or Día de Los Reyes, was in full celebration with the community.
The event, sponsored by the Carrero family, has been taking place for about 50 years.
Genaro Carrero Jr. said that this is the first year he has done this event without the help of his father, Genaro Carrero, who died in 2020.
“This was something my family started about 50 years ago,” Carrero said. “The library has been fantastic, and they have been hosting us forever.”
Due to the pandemic, the event hasn’t been celebrated at the library for the last two years.
Carrero said there has been an overwhelming response from the community donating toys to give out as gifts. The gifts were given to children ages eight and under.
“We even had people still donating yesterday for today’s celebration, and we appreciate the community support so much,” Carrero said.
Carrero said everyone thinks it’s just their family, but it’s a team effort with the Meriden Library and the Cardona family. He also said that any leftover toys are saved and used for next year’s celebration.
The event kicked off at 1 p.m. with a procession around the library with the two families and the three kings, who were Maloney High School class of 2022 students — Gabriel Carrero, Dominick Miner, and Ryan Rosario.
“Seeing the kids’ faces when they receive the gifts is my favorite part of all of this,” Carrero said.
This tradition on the one Sunday each expands past Carrero, his wife, and their son. Carrero’s cousins and other family members helped in various ways throughout the afternoon.
Carrero said it was 10 years ago when he and his wife really got involved in the celebration.
Festival music echoed throughout the library, and many families and kids sat and watched the positive energy coming from the traditional festive songs.
“This is the loudest I think we will ever be in the library,” Hector Cardona said.
Cardona played the acoustic guitar and was one of the singers for the entertainment.
Meriden Library Director Rebecca Starr said that normally the library is closed on Sundays. But for one Sunday out of the entire year, they open it up for the Three Kings Day celebration.
It’s one of the library’s biggest volunteer events, Starr said.
“Everyone here is a volunteer,” Starr said. “Even staff at the library came in on their day off to help.”
Starr said that many Maloney High School students help organize the gifts and sort them out into the proper containers. The bins with the toys are separated by age, so after the children check-in and get a tag with their age, a volunteer knows where to find the age-appropriate gift.
Carrero said that Starr was one of the original volunteers for the event previous to the pandemic.
“The library made a video of Three Kings Day, and it’s fantastic,” Carrero said.
The video featured the book “Story of the Three Wise Kings,” by Meriden native Thomas Anthony “Tomie” dePaola, who died in March 2020.
Carrero said each year, the event draws in about 100 to 130 children.
“We expect to be close to 100 children, maybe more,” Carrero said. “The crowd came right in at the start of the event, and there was a steady line of children today.”
Among those in attendance was Democratic state Rep. Jack Fazzino, who was sworn in this past Wednesday at the state Capitol. This is Fazzino’s first term representing the 83rd District, which covers parts of Berlin, Cheshire, and Meriden.
“This is a wonderful celebration and very festive,” Fazzino said. “It’s great to see the community together celebrating the Three Kings Day.”
Fazzino said he celebrated the holiday a little bit, but not to this extent.
“This is a very meaningful celebration to the community, and it’s great to see everyone celebrating,” Fazzino said.
nzappone@record-journal.com

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