“…just a smile away from Whoville with a hint of It’s a Wonderful Life.”
—Huffington Post
Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration, Kingston, New York
Sinterklaas Festival Day, Rhinebeck, New York

Our Sinterklaas Day Offering

We are delighted to bring you one of the most profound moments of Sinterklaas—the annual reading at the Pageant of the Blessing of the Honored Animal by Fr. Richard McKeon of the Church of the Messiah—this year it is the Blessing of the Frog.

While we don’t have the pageantry, the cold night air, the hundreds of surrounding folks with their stars, we do have a special message from Father Richard and the lovely poem by Gigi Alvare.
Enjoy it and keep our wishes of good will with you throughout the holiday season. Dona Nobis Pacem!

Don’t Miss the SINTERKLAAS MOVIE: Leap Year!
now online! Make sure the children see it!

The 10-minute movie tells the compelling story of Frog’s invitation to lead the Sinterklaas Parade, but his appearance had to be postponed by the cancellation of this year’s event. Undaunted and committed to the children of Rhinebeck’s joy, the Frog, through magic of a stellar sort, makes his way into Rhinebeck to gift Sinterklaas Stars and let the children know that Sinterklaas will be back in 2021. Based on a story by Sinterklaas creator, Jeanne Fleming, Grumpus choreographer Martha Tobias, and artist Sarah Bissonnette-Adler, the animation was created by artist Liz Howls with music by Dan Dukich. It will play on a 15-minute loop throughout the holiday season.

TOGETHER WE SOLD OUT OF STARS! AND RAISED $20,000 in matching funds from Rhinebeck Responds for Needy Families!!!

BUY A STAR / FEED A FAMILY!

A Perfect Holiday Gift!

Our collaboration with Rhinebeck Responds not only feeds the soul (the beauty of the Sinterklaas Star) but cares for the body as well with a bag of groceries for a needy family. Every Star you buy is matched with a $10 donation from Rhinebeck Responds to help support a local family in need.  What could be better?  Our goal is $20,000!

And it keeps Sinterklaas going too!

 

What’s Sinterklaas?

Every year brings new events and characters to dazzle our community, honor our children and bring light to this darkest time of the year.

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.” Homepage-Placeholder-DB6_0479

Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration in Kingston

Typically held on the last Saturday in November, this year the event is cancelled due to the Pandemic. 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.

Sinterklaas Festival Day in 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…

 
 

The FROG!

The 2020 Honored Animal is the FROG! In mythology, the FROG is the healer. We need him in these times. Look here for more about the frog in a couple of weeks.

 

Sinterklaas Stars

2020 illuminated Sinterklaas stars featuring the Honored Animal — the FROG! — can be purchased right here online and shipped to your home until December 31st. 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!

 

For a Visual Treat!

Meet the Performers

Sinterklaas brings over 250 performers to town for its days of celebration. Meet some of them here.

 

Sinterklaas Counts on YOU!

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.

 
 
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How Can It Be Free?

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.

 

GETTING THE WORD OUT

Many thanks to Mary Beth Cale and Cale Communications for providing their extraordinary services to help spread the word about Sinterklaas.

 

Secret Helpmates Revealed

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.” Read more…