The Sinterklaas Festivities draw on the Hudson Valley’s Dutch heritage, but with some modern day twists. Children are the focus — becoming kings and queens for the day, turning the switches of the original story into royal scepters. Children make scepters and crowns for themselves at the Crowns and Branches workshops. “But it can’t be about the wanting and having, either.” says creator Jeanne Flemming, “They each have to tie wishes into their branch — one for the community, one for the family, one for the world. They understand their responsibility to be a good king or queen.”
Mirroring the original Dutch legend in which Sinterklaas leaves Spain by boat for Holland, our Hudson Valley re-creation provides a day of fun-filled activities in Kingston ending with a parade to escort Sinterklaas to his boat for the week-long ride across the Hudson River to Rhinebeck.
The day features performances at venues throughout the village: dance, music and theatrics, tightrope walking, even fire juggling! Strolling musicians, dancing Grumpuses and a variety of colorful characters wander the streets of the village to delight children with stories and treats. Astride his white steed, Sinterklaas leads the Children’s starlight Parade, which culminates in the center of town with the Sinterklass pagent, honoring the children and ending with a stirring wish for peace.
At the start, Sinterklaas was a real person. He was born in the 4th century in Myra, Asia Minor, where he became a bishop. Little else is known about him—except that he loved children.. Read on…
The wet weather day in Rhinebeck, New York didn’t keep too many folks away. The streets were full of roaming musicians, storytellers, grampuses, and some new characters: The Polar Bear and the Kukeri. And inside the many venues that invite in Sinterklaas participants, there were performances of all sorts. The day made for another successful Sinterklaas. Visit our Facebook page to see lots of posts from visitors. Watch our
Sinterklaas brings over 100 performers to town for its days of celebration. Meet some of them here.
Sinterklass is made up of many events — Festival Days, Workshops, and Fundraisers. Check the calendar for dates and info. When the festival days are closer you’ll find detailed schedule info there, too.
We rely on donations from community members, businesses, and institutions —see who has donated! Your support is critical to keeping Sinterklaas a ticket-free event! Consider a donation now.
Do you know how all the puppets will come alive to dance their way down the road parading for all to see? Through the help of many volunteers. Ready for an extra good time?
SIGN UP to animate a Puppet. Come alone. Come with friends. Come as a family with teens (not appropriate for younger kids). Easy and fun! Sign up here.
Recently, these early Sinterklaas supporters stepped up in big ways to help make this year’s Sinterklaas the best year yet!
The Rhinebeck Rotary, who honored Jeanne Fleming and Pat Sexton as 2014 Citizens of the Year for their community service, continues to honor Sinterklaas through their “Light Up Rotary” program! The Rotary has made a substantial financial contribution and pledged the service of their members and members of the local youth Interact Club to lend valuable assistance to the Starlight Parade! Rotary members will work together to support all aspects of the Parade — help with set up and line up of the Parade, as Parade Marshals, as Puppet Animators, right through to our onstage Pageant at the end of the Parade. They will be with us all the way! Thank you, Rhinebeck Rotary, Interact Club, Kiki Steele, and Phillip Meltzer for giving so much to so many!
Our hard hats are off to Kirchoff- Consigli Construction Management who donated funds to help the Village of Rhinebeck meet the costs of managing the traffic flow on Sinterklaas Day.
Two community grants to Kingston and Rhinebeck were supported by our newly re-elected Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill. Wonderful that the economic development Sinterklaas contributes to our area is being recognized by our leaders! The arts keep our towns alive! Viva Sinterklaas!Meet all our supporters.