Las Posadas draws crowd in Brewster

Children seize the opportunity for tamales at The Armory in Brewster, where the Las Posadas procession was finally granted shelter from the cold.

BREWSTER - Mary and Joseph stopped at a taco truck in Brewster Saturday night.

Alas, there was no room.

Taqueria El Tapatio No. 4, among other Main Street businesses, refused the pair lodging.

Las Posadas, a religious festival celebrating Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of refuge, gathered about 50 people in Brewster.

The first-time Brewster Chamber of Commerce event kicked off 5 p.m. Saturday just as the temperature dipped to around 20 degrees.

The tradition typically takes place nightly from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24 in Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and parts of the United States. A caroling procession visits a home each night leading up to Christmas Eve when the host finally grants the request for shelter.

Saturday’s frosty crew caroled from business to business, reciting such songs as “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night” before directing the lyrics of “Canto Para Pedir Posada” to the host.

It means “song to ask for shelter.”

For all involved – from the icy shepherds and angels to the baby buried in blankets – the walk was best abbreviated.

Twenty minutes altogether, the search expired when the procession reached The Armory, where tamales, cookies, ponche, Mexican hot chocolate and fire pits awaited the crowd.

Everyone ate their fill of tamales, and then some. One boy appeared to down 10 before relenting his paper plate.

Then, children took swings at Disney-themed piñatas, rushing for candy at the slightest blow. And each left with a goodie bag filled with more sweet stuff.

Community togetherness inspired the idea, said Emmanuel (Manny) Hurtado, one of the organizers.

“There’s never really been anything that the community works together on. Everybody has their own thing, and they finish up their events every year – and that’s it,” Hurtado said. “This year, my brother (Martin Hurtado) and I and some members of the chamber wanted to create something that would bring the whole town together.”

Hurtado said Brewster will celebrate Las Posadas again next year in the hopes of making it an annual event.

“We hope every year it grows and becomes a big event – something people would enjoy even from out of town,” he said.

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