The noise of children had been growing louder and louder for an hour or more, the noise of expectation and excitement at what they were going to see.
From inside our apartment we could here the children on the street below and then the cacophony of a procession approaching, a mixture of music blaring from poor quality PAs mounted on the roofs of cars, and some way behind various live bands. The noise, as we moved to the balcony, was tremendous, the recorded music competing with the live music and almost above this, the noise of happy children.
After a while a tractor drawn float appeared, topped by a huge shooting star toward which the three kings make their way. After the star were giants and at some stage after this a brass band, more recorded music and a marching band, all loud drums and brass again, all competing in the winter evening air. Witches and Mini Mouse appeared, more floats and then the first king, sat on his throne atop a float full of children throwing sweets to the spectators lining the roads. More cars appeared and a float dressed as a double decker bus and then the second king. But all eyes were awaiting the arrival of Balthazaar, the third king, with his float with elephants spraying water, palm trees and exotic costumes.
The float passed, the noise disappeared and the children dispersed, each hoping for the three kings to leave them a toy that night for them to open on January 7th, Three Kings day.