I nearly didn’t go to the Three Kings parade in Los Cristianos – well it’s always the same – isn’t it? They caught a lot of people out this Reyes Eve by changing things around, call me an old stick in the mud but I thought the early part was chaotic, I don’t like change, I’m still reeling at having seen two currency changes in my lifetime.
It was past the advertised start time of 7pm, but that’s expected, and people were milling about looking for a sign from the east – or anywhere really. Normally the parade starts from the ferry terminal but this time the ringing of a ships bell and bright lights heralded the arrival of a small ferry boat by the old fishermens quay. The Arona brass band was assembled beyond the guarded gates and the Kings had arrived off the ferry but there was no sign of camels or the other cartoon characters, jugglers, etc. A path was cleared along the quay as crowds flocked over across the old beach and the band led the kings and their servants on foot down and around to the Plaza del Pescadora.
The plus was the children could get up close to their heroes but the down side was many couldn’t see over taller people in front of them. Taking the passageway up at the back of the small plaza the master plan was revealed, the camels were parked up just below The Devon Arms and their many magical friends were dressed up and waiting. I didn’t see the kings at first and assumed they had popped in for a Guinness but they soon appeared and saddled up. It’s a tight area and those camels were parked bottoms outwards so everyone was trying to avoid any extra gifts not mentioned in the old tales. It was good to see the hairy beasts and I can’t remember when I have seen so many camel toes. I was shocked to see among the cartoon characters a large Pio – but I bit my tongue and resisted the football chant reserved for this Las Palmas mascot.
At the top of the steep slope the jolly parade turned up and into Avenida Suecia, back on the old original route, that was more like it, the Kings and their fellow paraders began throwing handfuls of sweets out to the crowds packing the pavement and people were able to see their royal visitors in their elevated position perched up on the camels. Along and past the gloriously lit church plaza, which had hosted bouncy castles and games earlier – they still think I’m too old for a bounce.
The final stop was outside the cultural centre where the thrones were awaiting the royal bottoms and the children were awaiting their presents. As the paraders arrived I tried to get the Pio to pose with me for an Armada Sur caption competition but it was whisked away to the changing rooms along with Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, Tom and Jerry, and Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs, it must have been quite a clash of egos in there. The big day Reyes (6 Jan) will be a quieter day for families to enjoy, hope everyone gets those special presents they really wanted.