For the past 14 years, the owner of La Quinta de los Reyes restaurant in Aurora has brought the Da de los Reyes Magos (Epiphany) tradition to the region’s Hispanic community. The “Los Reyes Magos Aurora Celebration” takes place on January 6th every year, just like in Mexico. This is an important piece of Mexican culture. As part of the celebration, three members of the community dress up as the Three Kings and give gifts to children. A special sweet bread in the shape of a wreath called a rosca is also prepared and enjoyed. These celebrations are times when family and friends come together and be grateful to each other and all they have. The Aurora community and regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are excited to continue celebrating this tradition in the United States.
“It is very important for us to continue our culture, make sure our children know how we grew up, and help them embrace our culture,” said Karina Y. Garcia, president and CEO of Aurora’s regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce . “This is one of our biggest events and it’s nice to let the kids know that this is something that our culture celebrates.”
Usually the restaurant opens its doors to guests for a festive celebration every January 6th. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with each other and with local business sponsors, snap photos with the Three Kings, receive a gift, and then enjoy the party. COVID-19 obviously changed the format this year, but it hasn’t diminished the spirit and excitement of the community to celebrate the annual event.
This year, the organizers arranged for families to drive past the restaurant so that gifts from the Three Kings and the Rosca could be loaded into each family’s car. Despite the format change, more families than ever came to celebrate Da de los Reyes Magos.
Thanks to sponsorship from local businesses, including Naperville’s Gerald Subaru, around 2,000 gifts were handed out at this year’s Los Reyes Magos Aurora Celebration, almost twice as many as in 2020.
– Courtesy Gerald Subaru of Naperville
About 800 vehicles drove through the restaurant parking lot, with lots of Rosca from the Cinco de Mayo bakery and toys for newborns to 17-year-olds, distributed by parishioners disguised as Three Kings.
“We normally sell about 1,000 toys, but this year we’ve given close to 2,000 gifts,” said Garcia. “We got some really nice gifts this year, including headphones for older children.”
Thanks to generous sponsors, including local companies like Gerald Subaru from Naperville, Da de los Reyes Magos continues to grow in the Aurora region. This was the first time Gerald sponsored gifts for the event and they look forward to attending this and other events in the future.
“We are proud to sponsor such an inspiring holiday celebration in our community. La Quinta de los Reyes and the Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have done a great job remembering thousands of local children,” said Alec McKean of of the Gerald Auto Group.
Aurora’s Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the only Hispanic Chamber in the suburbs, not only helps make events like Da de los Reyes Magos possible, but works tirelessly to help local businesses and nonprofits thrive. They stayed open during the pandemic to educate the community about the resources available and to lean on one shoulder during stressful times, with almost all of the resources available in Spanish. The chamber also invests in helping startups and developing programs that support the community’s youth. Events like January 6th help the Chamber continue its mission to build businesses and help members of the Hispanic community embrace their story.
“We are a bilingual chamber and we are open to everyone. As a regional chamber, we also have good relationships with the surrounding community, not just Aurora. We welcome anyone who wants to start their business in Aurora and the surrounding city,” said Garcia.
To learn more about Aurora’s regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, visit www.ahcc-il.com.