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Three Kings Cake Sales Boom at Artemio's Bakery as Annual Parade Canceled

By Alisa Hauser | January 6, 2014 6:13pm
 Three Kings Day at Artemio's Bakery.
Three Kings Day at Artemio's Bakery
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WICKER PARK —  A deep freeze has not kept people from celebrating Three Kings Day, at least at one Wicker Park bakery, where lines were a dozen deep as revelers waited to purchase sugary cakes steeped in religious tradition.

Lorena Martinez, of Wicker Park, was buying an oval-shaped Three Kings cake at Artemio's Bakery at 1443 N. Milwaukee Ave. around 5 p.m. Monday.

Martinez said she purchases pastries at the bakery every day and not just on Dia de los Reyes, or Three Kings Day.

The holiday, which occurs 12 days after Christmas, celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany on the church calendar, when the Gospel of Matthew says the Magi arrived bearing gifts for the baby Jesus.

Dia de Reyes is a traditional day of celebration in Mexico and many Latin countries, as well as in the city of Chicago, where this year's 20th annual Three Kings Parade was canceled due to severe weather. 

 Three Kings Cakes at Artemio's Bakery, 1443 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Three Kings Cakes at Artemio's Bakery, 1443 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

For photos from last year's celebration, click here.

Made of flour, cinnamon, milk and eggs and topped with fruit mix and gummy candies, the cakes are eaten as part of the "Feast of The Epiphany."

In business for 17 years in Wicker Park, the bakery sells the cakes for $14 for a small and $27 for a large, according to manager Maria Zavala.

Tino Maldonado, a baker who was taking a break after a long day, told DNAinfo Chicago that he began baking the cakes at 4 a.m. Monday.

"They've been coming in all day, snow hasn't stopped [customers]," Maldonado said.

Looking for a Three King's Cake? Artemio's Bakery closes at 8 p.m. Monday.