In loving tribute, we dedicate this year’s events to Klara Sauer who embodied the Sinterklaas spirit in all she did to help this community tradition thrive. We honor her for her meaningful and important contributions to our mid-Hudson region and celebrate the vibrant spirit, the good friend, the smart and engaging woman we all loved.
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...
We are happy to report that Sinterklaas has received a grant, funded from Dutchess Tourism, Inc. and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson, for creating a lively art scene in Dutchess County and in recognition of our excellent and diverse programming.
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.
The Crowns & Branches workshop at the Sinterklaas Celebration Space in Rhinebeck, NY will is open through the Sinterklaas season as is the Puppet-Making workshop. Join master puppet-makers Sophia and Alex of Processional Arts and work alongside them to create the magic of Sinterklaas. Come join our hive of activity as we construct new puppets and restore some of the beloved Sinterklaas figures who braved last year’s storm.
A honey bee hive is a celebration, like Sinterklaas where everyone comes together to make something special and in which the community hummmmmms with creativity.
How is it that such a tiny creature has such huge impact on the world?
Sinterklaas is donation driven — 75% of our funding is from folks like you. We all love Sinterklaas — our own, hand-made, home-grown, truly one-of-a-kind holiday tradition!
Sinterklaas brings our community together — with joy, magic, creativity, spectacular sights and sounds. And it REALLY all begins with YOU.
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.
The 2014 Sinterklaas Celebration was “adopted” by the Rhinebeck Rotary Club as part of the international organization’s worldwide initiative called “Light Up Rotary.”