Thursday, January 20

The Three Wise Men return the magic to the streets of Alicante

Eric looked nervous. Even anxious. He was looking forward to the Three Wise Men coming to his chair, in the first half of Alfonso el Sabio. This 2022 was not his first ride, although the little one, who is almost four years old, has no memories of the last one, the one who lived before he was two years old. Even less than his first encounter with the Magi from the East. Things of a pandemic that forced the suspension of 2021 due to the epidemiological situation suffered by the whole country, with fewer infections than now, but with much more stressed hospitals by the volume of patients due to covid.

Eric was certainly not the only nervous one on the course of a parade, which also due to the pandemic, began at the beginning of Avenida de la Estación and ended on La Rambla to spread out the public. The masks, which were the majority among the attendees, were able to cover the nervous smiles of the little ones, but they could not hide the excited eyes of those thousands of children, who together with their families enjoyed an emotional show, by those from return magic to streets that are in great need of joys, but decaffeinated, due to the lack of candies and gifts flying overhead.

The Three Wise Men and their pages, aware of the limitations agreed by the Alicante City Council to try to reduce crowds on dates of daily records of positive cases, tried to mitigate the lack of those candies and gifts with kilos of confetti that played their role, that many children appreciated, but it was not the same. In the streets, according to official figures, about 20,000 people gathered, approximately half of those who usually enjoyed the parade of the province before the pandemic arrived to change almost everything.

The Three Wise Men on their arrival in Alicante by boat Alex Dominguez

Beyond the figures, always difficult to adjust in such massive events, that there were fewer people than usual, it was obvious. A colder environment was also noticed, and that the time in the end respected the walk of their Majesties through the Alicante capital. During the entire tour, several rows of spectators were piling up (the first seated, the rest standing), but not as many as, for example, two years ago. Despite everything, the Magi from the East managed to permeate the streets, at least the main ones in the center of Alicante, with magic.

Of an illusion lost by a covid that did not leave even the court of the Magi safe. Melchor and Gaspar had one page less than expected per float. Two of his assistants tested positive at the last minute and another decided not to go out as a precaution after close contact with an infected person. Only one of those unexpected casualties could be covered due to lack of time.

Two previous stops

The Twelfth Night began early in the afternoon in Alicante. Their Majesties arrived with exquisite punctuality at the port, aboard a Civil Guard patrol boat, which also included the main authorities of the city (such as the mayor and the deputy mayor), who did not hesitate to join in the greeting.

After a ride on the boat along the dock to be seen by the boys and girls, they disembarked on a jetty located in front of the Giant Bethlehem, amid applause, chants and wishes thrown into the air by those who wanted to be among the first to see the arrival from East. Although there could be no direct contact to avoid crowds and infections, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar received from the first moment the affection of dozens of children who traveled to the surroundings of the Esplanade to be the first to receive the Three Kings, after the forced stoppage last year due to the covid pandemic.

From there, in a first contact with the city much faster than usual in the absence of kisses, hugs and photos with the little ones, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, who were negative in PCR tests this Tuesday to be able to enjoy the day without mask, they left in a caravan of six cars escorted by the Local Police to the bullring, where from early in the afternoon the show “La Estación de los Cuentos” was held with access only by invitation and with limited capacity.

In the bullring, the Magi from the East made an appearance shortly before 6:00 p.m., moving ahead a few minutes to the scheduled time. Their Majesties, after greeting the more than 2,000 people gathered in the square (who occupied only two of the eight lines), addressed the smallest of Alicante, anticipating the royal message that is usually carried out in the City Hall and that this year will be It was suspended to avoid crowds, as happened with the Adoration and the subsequent reception in the Blue Room. «After two years without coming to Alicante, what a joy to return to the city! We have received all your letters and, although this year has been difficult, we know that you have behaved better than ever. Tonight is the magical night, in which we will go to distribute the gifts to your houses. You have deserved it. Be good, go to bed soon and pay attention to your parents, “said Gaspar, the most talkative of the three Wise Men, who ended his speech with a” Viva Alicante “that started, even more if possible, the applause among those present. After passing through the bullring, their Majesties went to the head of the parade, which also started on time, at 7:00 p.m., from the area of ​​Avenida de la Estación furthest from the restored source of Luceros, where for the first time there were chairs for the public.

During the tour, there was music, dances and some of the favorite characters of the little ones, of the protagonists of the night. In total, a dozen musical and artistic groups participated, including Nanos i Gegants and a group of foguerers. On the other hand, the boys and girls were also able to enjoy characters such as the Minions and Spiderman, along with luminous giants, among other attractions. The play train was the prologue of the biblical train, which had five representations (the star, Saint Joseph asking for shelter, the annunciation to the shepherds, the registration in the register and the birth of Jesus), in addition to the floats of the three Magi . Finally, a dozen commercial floats.

On the occasion of the parade, the Alicante City Council launched a security device with a hundred policemen, who had the support of fifty Civil Protection volunteers and as many controllers from the company awarded the organization of the parade to control the seating capacity.

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