Sinterklaas Festival Day
The popular Dutch-themed parade, the Sinterklaas Festival Day and Send-off Celebration celebrates children, art and winter.
As the end of the year approaches so does one of the Hudson Valley’s unique traditions brought to Rhinebeck over 300 years ago by Dutch settlers: Sinterklaas Festival Day. The Sinterklaas Festival 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. Don’t miss the Dancing Bear, the Pocket Lady, and Mother Holly! There are various festivities to partake in including open houses, workshops creating beautiful crowns and branches, and a Children’s Maritime Parade down Broadway, with stars and puppets galore.
Astride his white steed, Sinterklaas leads the Children’s Starlight Parade, featuring two-story tall, animated puppets carried by hundreds of volunteers. Culminating in the center of town with the Sinterklass pageant, Sinterklaas honors the children and ends with a stirring wish for peace.
What is Sinterklaas?
Every year brings new events and characters to the Sinterklaas Send-off Celebration, dazzling the community, honoring children and bringing light to the darkest time of the year. A non-denominational event, Sinterklaas joins residents and visitors alike, people of all ages and backgrounds, in a memorable celebration of children, art and the winter season.
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.”
How to Get to the Sinterklaas Send-off Celebration and Festival:
(Saturday) 10:00 am
Village of Rhinebeck
E. Market St., Rhinebeck, NY 12572