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Northwest Mexican-American Bakeries Ready For Three Kings Day

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Alejandro Vacscez, 22, has been baking since he was 11 years old. He says the bakery will make close to 1,000 of these traditional breads for Three Kings Day.

Monday is a big day for Mexican-American bakeries across the Northwest. It’s Three Kings Day or the Epiphany: A Christian celebration of the day the magi came bearing gifts for Jesus.

Alejandro Vacscez is almost in a panic. He deftly loads breads, cookies and sweets into plastic bags at the register. A long line of workers just off shift stretches out before him. This is just a normal workday.

But to really make him wince? Mention Three Kings Day.

“I think it’s one of the main days of all year that we sell a lot of bread,” says Vacscez.

The crew here expects to bake about 1,000 breads. To resemble crowns, the treats are shaped into huge round circles and jeweled with bits of fruit and sugary coating.

There’s a tradition about Three King’s Bread. If you find a plastic baby Jesus in your piece you’re responsible for hosting a party for your family soon.

“It’s pretty special for us," says Vacscez with a laugh. "We make lines and stuff like that but it gets kind of crazy once everyone is inside here.”

At Viera’s Bakery in Pasco, a medium bread will set you back, $25 and one you could almost use as a hula-hoop sells for $35.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.