A spirited arrival of 2016 shone through the streets of Axarquia as zestful local residents delighted in sampling holiday treats and catching a glimpse of the Three Kings in the assorted parades that took place on January 5.
Thanks to the Ortiz bakery chain, the year got off to a sweet start. Working with the Velez-Malaga Town Council, bakery owner Sergio Herrero Ortiz generously supplied 5,000 free portions of the traditional Roscon de Reyes cake in the Plaza de las Carmelitas. Ortiz Bakeries has seven locations in four different towns in Axarquia: two in Velez-Malaga, two in Torre del Mar, two in Torrox, and one in Nerja.
Ortiz said: “We are the members of a third generation of pastry chefs and when the season arrives we have a workforce of 100 people.” He has carried on the family tradition since 1936, when Jose Ortiz opened the very first Ortiz Bakery in Granada.
Meanwhile, on January 5 it was time for the annual Three Kings Parade, and children and parents alike were squirming with anticipation.
In La Herradura, the parade featured a procession of eight floats and more than 200 people. Between the eight different floats and the various people, 800 kilos of sweets and hundreds of toys were handed out to the exuberant crowd.
Over in nearby Salobreña, on the other hand, the parade underwent a complete overhaul, with newly-designed floats and a new artistic image, as well as an African person playing King Baltasar in a reflection of Spanish diversity.
Of course, safety always comes first. Prior to the big day, Motril Safety Councillor Maria Angeles Escamez provided a few handy tips, reminding people not to leave the pavement to collect sweets, and always to stay well clear of the floats.