“…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


who makes it happen | sinterklaashundsonvalley.com

It Absolutely takes a village!

Thank you to the 2018 Sinterklaas Donors

If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet click on over to the donation page and join this supportive community that Sinterklaas relies on. Then we can add your name here as well.


Thank you to the 2018 Sinterklaas Donors

Current through November 19, 2018

Beyond the Beyond

$5000 +

Robert Duffy

Medical Aesthetics of the Hudson Valley

Stinchcomb Family Fund



Infinity and Beyond


Benson Frost Fund

Dutchess Tourism

Mid-Hudson Arts Council

Rhinebeck Rotary

Thomas Thompson Trust


Rotary Club Supports Sinterklaas





The Universe


Audios Ventures Inc

Birchtree in Woodstock

Colleen & Mike Bloxham

Lindy Wright & Al Boutin

Douglas Baz Photography

Sarah Bissonette-Adler Production Coordination

The Beekman Arms

Cale Communications

ENTA Education Network for Artists & Teachers

Foster’s Coach House Tavern

Jeanne Fleming & Wonderworks


JTD Productions

Klock Foundation

Dal LaMagna

M. Suzy Morris Costume Design

Mid Hudson Federal Credit Union

Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation

Omega Institute

Foster & Tricia Reed

Richard Prouse Stage Scenery

Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce

Albert Shahinian Gallery

Stewarts Shops


Martha Tobias Special Events

Iliana VanMeeteren

Williams Lumber

Winter Sun & Summer Moon


The Super Nova

$500 – $999

Betsy Jacaruso 
Studio & Gallery

Distinctly Himalayan

Enjoy Rhinebeck

Joanne Gray

Hammertown Rhinebeck

Haven Spa

Margaret C. Hill Howe

Hudson Dermatology

Hummingbird Jewelers

Brad Keil

Mirabeau Inn and Spa

No Sugar

Paper Trail

Rhinebeck Bank

Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market

Ruge’s Automotive Inc.

Tatiana Serafin

Sue Sie

Renee & Craig Snyder

Al & Aida Wilder


The Galaxy

$250 – $499


A.L. Stickle Variety Store

Abby & Jim Saxon

Acacia Design

Ana Sanjuan Consulting

Aroi Thai Restaurant

The Art of Building

Bailey Pottery Equipment in honor of Susie Linn

Catskill Mountain

Central Hudson Gas & Electric

Charney & Wheeler

Liz Mazzarella & Allen Dicotiis

Mike & Cecily Frazier

Vicki L. Haak, CFP

Jennifer & Al Hammoud

Hetta Glogg

Fr. Richard McKeon & Tim Lewis, Church of the Messiah

Robert Long

Wendy Bush Lyons, Esq.

Doug Baz & Jill Lundquist

Sheila & Greg Lynch

(The Galaxy continued)

Katherine Malaga

Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods

Sally & Mike Mazzarella

Evan & Diane Meltzer


Cheryl & Roger Norton

Oblong Books & Music

Olde Rhinebck Inn c 1745

Jamie O’Neil, LCSW-R

Brian & Kim Orcutt

Tom Ostrofsky

R&F Handmade Paints

Railroad Co.

Paula Redmond Real Estate, Inc

Law offices of Wareen Replansky

Rhinebeck Architecture and Planning PC

Rhinebeck Bagels

Rhinebeck Motel

Rickert’s Auto Body Inc.

Rondout Savings Bank

Samuels Sweet Shop

The Rogovic Family

Kiki Steele

Robert Sweeney

The Storefront Gallery

The Terranova Family

The Turpin Foundation

Louis & Julie Turpin

Ulster Federal Credit Union

VanNorstrand & Hoolihan, CPA, PC

Linda & Andy Weintraub

Grace Welker

Al & Aida Wilder

Woodstock School of Art


The Milky Way

$125 – $249

Aba’s Falafel

At Home Antiques

Atelier Renee Fine Printing

The Amsterdam

Bark Busters of the
Hudson Valley

Laura Brown

Carrick Photography/M. Salamone

Friends of Kevin Cahill

Clear Yoga

DF Craft Construction Co.

Dr. Tom’s Tonics- A Modern Apothecary

Edward J. Haas

Ann Moehle Ferrara

Fraleigh & Rakow, Inc

Joanna Dupee

Haggerty Law Offices

Haven Spa

Hudson Valley Pottery

Hudson Valley Vintage

Iconic Hair

JSA Financial Group

Kalin Print Studio

The Keesing-Ostfeld Family

Scott & Laura Kemp

Richard Kopyscianski

Krause’s Chocolates

Ramon Lascano

Cricket Lengyel & Andrew Stewart

Doug Baz & Jill Lundquist

Gretchen & Mark Lytle

Mollie Middleton

Momiji Japanese Restaurant

Montgomery Row

Olde Rhinebeck Inn c 1745


Peter Amendola & Jerry Pagliari

Pegasus Footwear

Georgia Dent & Jeff Perry

Gregory Barker & Susan Phillips

Beth Graziano Pilates Center of Rhinebeck

Pizzeria Posto

R&F Handmade Paints

Susan J. Ragusa

Rhinebeck Animal Hospital

Rhinebeck Convenience Stores

Rhinebeck Department Store

Rhinebeck Motel

Rikerts Auto Body Inc.

Robert Wills Architects

Rondout Savings Bank

Martin & Carol Rosenblum

Stephen Shay

Smoky Rock BBQ

Staley Real Estate

Cricket Lengyel & Andrew Stewart

The Courtyard

Twin Ponds Nursery

Cheryl Demuth & Tim Weidermann

Willow Wood

Woodstock School of Art

Emily Houpt & Victor Zelek


Zimmer Brothers


Star Clusters

$75 – $124

Adams Fairacre Farms

Steven Appenzeller

Central Hudson

Ariadne Tsola Civin

Peter Dolese

Joseph & Nancy Drago

DTK Chiling Inc.

Karen Burke & Sam Elsamann

Linda & Ed Faber

Sarah Hill & Guillermo Fesser

Linda Levine

Andrea & Michael Loukin

The Mezzanine

The Palmer/Nathan Family

Patricia O’Connor

Lisa-Sue & Kurt Quackenbush

Edward Giuliano &
Mateo Ribot

Rough Draft


Sunflower Natural Foods Market

Sandra Swenson

Leopoldo Quarles
Von Ufford

Justin Watrel

Linda Woznicki


Be A Star

$20 – $74

Ellen Bowe

Charles Buehler

Karen Burke

Geraldine Calvo

Ronnie Citron-Fink

Jim & Eileen Colacino

Elaine Colandrea

Thomas & Diane Collelo

Dodd & Dorothy Crane

Rachel DiGrazia

Jane & David Hoffman

Ellen Honig

Ellen Hubbert

The Jaffe-Bennek Family

Ellen Jahoda

Cynthia & Michael Keller

Elizabeth Kirchoff

DeDe Leiber

The Mahoney Family

Migliorelli Farm LLC

Lydia Newcombe

Gennaro Pasquale

Joseph & Patricia Phelan

Hyohee Regn

Debbie & Hector Rodriguez

The Edward Sullivan Family

Illya Szilak

Debra Wollens


How you can help

Each year hundreds of people help create this spectacular community-wide event. How can you be part of it?

  • Be a Puppeteer! Volunteer to animate a puppet in the Parade!
  • Be sure to return to our website to get involved with this year’s Sinterklaas and learn about other upcoming events!
  • Make a donation so we can keep all the events free!
  • Buy an Illuminated Star to help us raise the funds we need!
  • Share your photographs. Email us.
  • Join our email list, stay in the know!
  • Become a Facebook fan: Rhinebeck and Kingston pages

It truly does take a village to pull off an event like this.

It takes a whole HOST of folks to come together in a beautiful way to make Sinterklaas happen. It includes everyone, those who donated time and money for sure and all those who sat in meetings, answered millions of questions, made extraordinary suggestions, cut a branch, served up tea, and everyone who comes to the event. Sinterklaas forms a close and sweet community as it gathers steam throughout the year. We thank all of you who form this creative community! Here are some who deserve special mention! We thank…

This is dedicated to one we loved!

To Chief Henry Campbell of the Rhinebeck Fire Department. The last time we saw you, you stuck up for us! And then you were taken away. We miss you!



County Executive Mark Molinaro, Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson and Conisgli Construction for extraordinary support!


Village & Town

The Village Board, Mayor Gary Bassett for all you do! Howie Traudt and Scott Cruikshank for true advice and extraordinary help. Sgt. Pete Dunn for his conscientious, caring and good work! And the Rhinebeck Fire Department for inviting us into your home! Kyle and Crissy Eghmy! The Town Board, Elizabeth Spinizia, Supervisor, and the Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce



The Rhinebeck Rotary and Interact Club for Puppeteers and Parade Marshals. Thank you, Rotarians! We can’t do it without you!


Caped Wonders

Keepers of the Flame George and Phebe Banta! Holders of the Flame 2017 The Hoolihan/Kruger Family—Tim, Lorrie, Tori, Ken, Kylie, Garrett, and Owen. And their lineage: The Hewitt Family 2016! The Cruikshanks 2015! The Stickles, 2014!


It’s in the Details!

Elena Erber who designed ALL our graphics, including this website!



After 10 years: The Madwomen of the Sinterklaas Committee: Endless energy, the extraordinary TEAM: Lila Pague, Pat Sexton, Elena Erber, Lindy Wright, Sarah Bissonnette-Adler, Martha Tobias, Joanna Hess, Tricia Reed, Jill Lundquist, Joanne Gelb, Suzy Morris, Dorna Schroeter, Joanna Hess, Colleen Bloxham and Nancy Donskoj who kept the fires burning all year long.


the magic’s still there!

Our own Andy Weintraub since the
beginning 30 years ago!


Over the top hat!!

The Amazing, multi-talented Great Leader of the Crowns and Branches Workshop and wearer of many hats and so much more: the thoughtful and committed, Joanna Hess.


Habitation and a Stage!

Richard Prouse, Barry Cohen and Roberto Rossi!


Super powers!

She can do anything, the fine Sarah Bissonnette-Adler.


King & Queen makers!

Becky Holt holds the power!


The epic trinket lady

Laura D’Atrorie Her dedicated, always costumed assistant, Jeniece Schroeter and the Branch Manager, Sharon Rushton.


Benevolent overseer

The indefatigable Martha Tobias!!



Barbara Petrini


Sewn up!

Heather Hetherington for the Decade Anniversay Quilt


Those boys!

Peter Criswell, Matthew Fass, Kevin Muth and Riley.


The Swap Team!

Lindy Wright, Jill Lundquist, Linda Helbing, Nancy Karimi, Debby Franke Ogg, Diana Devlin, Dorna Schroeter, Suzy Morris and Joanne Gelb.


The Herder…..

Bea Lambert for the fantastic and truly magical Elephants! And Lauree Ostrofsky, our Gorgeous Crescent Moon!


Queen for a Lifetime…

Our Queen Bee! Lila Pague


All the helpers at the Crowns and Branches Workshop!

Joanna Hess, Coordinator, The Incredibly Creative Crowns & Branches assistants: Jean DiMarco, Karen Hinderstein, Becky Holt, Anna Kaselis, Kate Kennedy, Melisca Klisanin, Shuchee Madhu, Joanne Mrstik, Sarah Olson, Dorna Schroeter, Loretta Spence, Steve & Sarah Miller, and Tina Stanton.


Bear Up!

Welcome Jason!!!! The Fox and the Bear—Roseanne Fox, that is! And Major Ursa! Julia Haines, his accompanist.
top of the heap


To those who swoop in at the end and make it work:

The Rhinebeck Rotary and Daytop.



Sally Mazzarella, Howie Traudt, Scott Cruikshank, Jordan Matthews, Lila Pague, and Father Richard McKeon.


Cookin’ up a storm!

Colleen Bloxham, yes!!!


The Pachyderm Palace Theater

Special thanks for Paul O’Connor for the creation of our centerpiece—The Giant Elephant Theatre.


Elephant Dreaming
Liz Howls for the wonderful shadow puppet shows!


Dancing elephants

Teri Hall, The African Elephant and Julie Leon, the Indian Elephant and their musicians, Amadou Diallo on Drums and Steve Gorn on Bamboo Flute.


MOM! (mother of all Mastodons) and and her companion Mouse

Cait Johnson and Terry O’Keefe. You show us we can all get together and love one another right now.


Location, Location, Location!! Celebration Spaces:

We thank the Rhinebeck Fire Department for their generosity for the Crowns and Branches space! We thank Primrose Hill School and the United Methodist Church for the SWAP! And the Bantas for our Star Party at the Beekman Arms. Betsy Jacaruso Gallery for the Grumpus Hideout! Connie Bathrick and the Courtyard for the Clock! Liberty Public House for our fabulous After Party! And Ruby Star for the bird’s eye views. Foster’s Coach House for opening the heart of our Village (the White Corner!) and forging an ephemeral Town Green for all our performers and folks to gather. Our Vaudeville House and Cirkus Tent: DeDe Leiber and Upstate Films.


Our address

We thank Connie Bathrick and the Courtyard for a home for the Pachyderm Palace.


A clean, well lighted space

Our greatest gratitude to the United Methodist Church and Pastor Nikki Hutt Edleman for our Celebration Space, Workshop, Toy Theater and beautiful environs Family Bands!


Now we can rest

Great SPECIAL thanks to Patricia Panarella and Liberty for our wonderful Green Room. Thanks to your hospitality, we settled in!


Everybody: Smile!

Doug Baz for his 31 years of wonderful photographs that make it possible for us to tell the story.


Sinterklaas Craft Fair

presented by the spirited and joyful Gelbs, David and Joanne, and all the artists and crafts people participating in the Fair! Special thanks to Dorna Schroeter and her helpers and Bobby Fitzpatrick.


The Wish Ladies

Women of Wisdom and Delight.


The Pocket Lady and her Pal

Liza Jane Norman who created the magnificent costume, Carla Carbone who gave it life and Dani Reuben her pal!


All those wild Grumpuses!

Mike Bloxham, Wally Carbone, Matthew Gelfer, Kurt Fisher, Clifford Hart, Richard Kopyscianski, Jamyang Lodoe, Robby Long, Harlan Matthews, Woody Peoples, Mark Perez, Stephen Robin, John Schmitz, Bob Wills, and Steven Young. And Grumpus Emeritus: Ricky Aldrich, Dodd Crane, David Gelb, Chris Gilbert, Arun Lahiri, Bruce Lubman, Terrance McCorry, Steven Pague, Richard Prouse, Heinz Sauer, and Andy Weintraub. And their illustrious choreographer, Martha Tobias, who tamed and trained the wild beasts!



The 500 kids in the Chancellor Livingston School who made Elephant pictures !


The Wild Women!

Abby Saxon, the Wildest! Thanks to June and Charlie Schrek for their beautiful work decorating the Wild Women sound cart!


The Ask Me Ladies

Dorna Schroeter, Queen! Diana Devlin, Laureen Swanwick, Jill Lundquist, Joanna Hess, Gwen Bardon, Karen Graham, Ana Sanjuan, Kiki Steele, Mary Burns, Sarah Olson, Marianne Neifeld, Karil Davidson, Kari Feuer, Jen LaBelle, Cecily Frazier, Marie Dynes, Karil Davidson, Barbara Kahles, Gillian Eames, and Susan Bissonnette.


Bear Beauty for the Bear Beauty Contest.

We could not BEAR to lose you! Samuel’s John Traver, keeping up the tradition begun by Sarah Chaneles and Kathy Varadi. In memory of our dear Ira Gutner.


The Book

The stellar team who made the Illuminated Book: Nadine Robbins, Molly Ahearn, Grace Gunning, Richard Prouse, Andy Neal and James Gurney!


The Art Teachers…

at Rhinebeck High School, Cynthia Baer and Kathy Giles and the Art Students for their gorgeous and original paintings.


Our royalty!

the Snow King, Queen, and Star Child Emily Houpt, Victor Zelek and Louisa Zelek.
Rhinebeck Rumblings.


costume mania!

The utterly talented and relentless Suzy Morris creator of the Snow King, Snow Queen, Star Child, the Owlettes, the Owl Queen of the Night and her Mouse, the NEW gorgeous Sinterklaas Robe, those crazy Kukeri, African and Indian Elephants, MOMand all the rest!


foster parents…

you know who you are!


Holy Holly! Mother Holly!

Rebecca Singer and William Eadie and Cait Johnson, Ania Aldrich, Terry O’Keefe.



The immensely talented Richard Prouse whose staging gives to our airy nothing a local habitation and a name. And Barry Cohen who makes sense of it all. Hal Hahn who lends a hand. And the Village of Red Hook for the loaner!


He’ll always be the Drone of Distinction

David Gelb. We will let him live! And his Noble Queen Joanne Gelb!


Just call him Al

Al Boutin…Lindy’s wingman.


Chief Schlepper

(self-described) Harlan Matthews.


including benefits!

Martha Tobias, Tuba Skinny, Tricia and Foster Reed, Doug Baz and Jill Lundquist, Elena Erber, Dave Leonard, Sarah, Kenna, Patrick, Ben, Melisca Klisanin, Tom, Woody and Hal. Fabulous Food: Sloop Brewing, Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods, Colleen Bloxham.


odyssey (to MFTA)

Lindy Wright, Suzy Morris, Joanne and David Gelb


Kingston Crew!

Susie Linn, Nancy Donskoj, B.C. Gee, Kevin Godbey, Linda Harrington, Deborah Mills Thackerey, Rob Sweeney, Gloria Waslyn, Ann Loeding, A.S.K., Color Page, Robert Iannucci & Sonia Ewers, Historic Kingston Waterfront for the TUG BOAT, Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston Library, Old Dutch Church, Savonna’s Trattoria, Ulster County Tourism, WDST and the City of Kingston.


The Churches

The United Methodist Church, The Church of the Messiah, the Reformed Church of Rhinebeck and the Third Evangelical Lutheran Church — folks filled with love and generosity in their hearts: Pastor Nikki Hutt Edleman, Rev. Richard McKeon Jr., Fr. Luis Perez and Pastor James Miller and Anna Pavord, Liz Irwin and the ever gracious and generous Bonnie Reyero.


Yasha Koah

The Jewish Alliance of Northern Dutchess, Rabbi Yael Romer, Kimba Baker and Temple Emanuel for a beautiful and moving Havdalah. And the Dapson/Chestney Funeral Home for hosting this meaningful ceremony.


The Living Nativity!

The Reformed Church gives it life!


Beekman Arms and it’s legs

Brenda Catalano and the Bantas for keeping the Hearth burning. Plus Erin Winters, Kristopher Hallinan, Crystal Christiansen, Preston Faust


Green giant!

Johanna Bard!



All those who donated food for the hundreds of performers and volunteers. Thank you to Colleen Bloxham and Johanna Bard for keeping this army running with good food! The Amsterdam, Aroi Thai Restaurant, Rhinebeck Bagel, Bread Alone, Bubby’s Burritos, Buns, Bangers, Cinnamon, CJ’s Italian Ristorante, Foster’s Coach House Tavern, Gaby’s Café,Grand Cru, Le Petit Bistro, Liberty Public House, Matchbox Café, Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods, Osaka Japanese Restaurant, Pete’s Famous Restaurant, Pizzeria Posto, Village Pizza of Rhinebeck, Smoky Rock BBQ, Samuel’s Sweet Shop, Aba’s Falafel, Migliorelli’s, Tops, Sunflower Natural Foods Market, Terrapin Restaurant,The Rhinecliff, Warren Kitchen & Cutlery.


The Starr Library

for its warm welcome to creatures great and small, human and puppet! Stephen Cook and the Board of Trustees, Brooke Stevens, Dave Wanzer, Ed & Veronica Schroeder and Bobby Fitzpatrick.



And to Nan Jackson at the Starr Library for the Coloring Workshops and Joanne Gelb for putting it all together. Thanks to all who colored the 700 beautiful elephant masks for the children!


Keeping it all together

Cara Silvernail, Cindy Kubick, Stephen Kurowski, Jeff Newman, Tom Dressel, Peter Muste, Mark Schyler, Susan Bissonette, Grace Schultz, Grace Schultz, Becky Holt, Carlos Abreu, Barry Cohen, and Kirsten Horn.


Re-Sounding Praise!

Omega Institute’s Ken Kuter and Skip Backus for letting us hear! And JTD Productions for the same in the venues!
And Joe Tobin for the headliners. The Real Deal Jonkheer Leopold Quarles von Ufford for giving us authenticity and connecting us to our heritage. And to Mr. Briggs. Love you always.


Our own special Sinterklaas!

In Kingston: Henk Dijk who returns from Holland each year to join us! And in Rhinebeck: Scott Cruikshank, local hero!


The Puppet masters

Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles whose vision and dedication to the work is unmatched anywhere, who hosted the workshop and taught so many in the skills of pageant puppetry and who made that magnificent Horse and the Fox, Crow, Bear, Goose, Turtle, Hummingbird, the Bees, the Owls …and now the ELEPHANTS!


Parade Volunteers

All those who animated puppets! Now you are 300 strong!!


And all the artists and performers!


As always to

Ania Aldrich and Gigi Alvare for the original work and setting us on the path.


To my son

Jordan who is alive and well and very funny and has become a man.


And especially to our patient, long-standing, and supportive husbands:

Al Boutin, Steven Michael Pague, Bernard Greenwald, Peter Muste, David Gelb, Doug Baz, Donald Corrin, Albert Shahinian, Foster Reed and Harlan Matthews who play greater roles than anyone could ever imagine. Some of them are now demanding titles and we are not so sure about THAT!


10 years!!!

Who could have imagined it! Well, we ALL did! We imagined it minute by minute and idea by idea. Sinterklaas continues to be an ever astonishing achievement and shows what a community can do working and dreaming together. Thank you again to the greater Rhinebeck community for the privilege of being allowed to do the work.

At a time when it is harder and harder to folks to see each other’s point of view—like the Blind Men in the poem—each saying it’s a wall, it’s a snake, it’s leaf—it’s truly a wonderful opportunity to work together to make Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas can come in and simply point out the obvious—
it’s an elephant—and we can all enjoy it and each other! We are so lucky to be alive and be able to celebrate our community together!!!
May our Sinterklaas festival serve to bring peace and joy to the world!

—Jeanne Fleming, 
Designer and Coordinator, SPEAKING FOR All of US at Sinterklaas!