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 Fleming, “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 Sinterklaas 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…
2020 illuminated Sinterklaas stars featuring the Honored Animal — the
FROG! — can be purchased right here online and shipped to your home until December 1st. Stars available in September 2020. After that you can buy them at local stores like Winter Sun, Williams Lumber, Paper Trail, Sunflower, and Hummingbird. See a complete list at the following link!
Sinterklaas brings over 250 performers to town for its days of celebration.
Meet some of them here.
Take a chance and win a PARKING SPOT on Sinterklaas Day! Our 2019 Winner was Keith Di Palo! He loved it! Maybe you will win this year!
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.
Each year we begin the preparations for Sinterklaas Festival Day with fun activities for all. Crowns & Branches as well as the Puppet Workshops begin on November 14 and are open to the community. Children & adults welcome. Lots of fun.
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.
Many thanks to Mary Beth Cale and Cale Communications for providing their extraordinary services to help spread the word about Sinterklaas.
Since 2014 the Sinterklaas Celebration was “adopted” by the Rhinebeck Rotary Club as part of the international organization’s worldwide initiative called “Light Up Rotary.”
Sinterklaas is an Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley taking place on December 5, 2020 in Rhinebeck, NY. See our website for full details..