by Irene Taylor
THE poor weather put a damper on Three Kings parades all over the island, but it did not entirely spoil the thrills and excitement of the thousands of children who turned out to watch. In Palma, the royal entourage arrived at the Paseo Sagrera to a welcoming fireworks display.
This year, the Three Kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, did not ride on camels as in previous years, but each had a separate float, star-shaped to symbolise the star of Bethlehem. King Melchor, representing Europe, wore a Gothic-style medieval outfit, while Gaspar, representing Asia, was dressed as the kings of former Persia. As Africa's representative, King Baltasar wore a gala outfit.

There were 20 floats in all, on various themes. The most popular were those dedicated to Grand Magicians, which included Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Merlin and the White Witch of Narnia. Other floats represented Disney characters and children's stories. There were also several floats of gifts from which seven tons of sweets were showered on spectators. Music was provided by two bands and percussion groups which were harried by demons throughout the parade. The parades in outlying towns may not have been so spectacular, but they enchanted the children just as much, particularly as in many of the smaller villages, the Kings or their Pages actually handed out the gifts in person.

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