Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Sinterklaas 2013 in Rhinebeck and Kingston

  |   November 4, 2013  |  Comment

Drawing on the Hudson Valley’s Dutch roots, an annual cultural event was born in Rhinebeck in 2008. Based on the centuries-old celebration of Sinterklaas, a favorite tradition in Holland, our Hudson Valley Sinterklaas Celebration is designed to bring together residents and visitors to create an extraordinary, community-built, public art event while learning about our Dutch heritage.  Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas), based on a 4th century bishop who helped needy children, has long been a symbol of diversity and tolerance which supports the vision of a shared society among our Hudson Valley community. For centuries, celebrations of Sinterklaas have been ushering in the winter solstice season in Holland. While the Dutch ruled In the New World, Sinterklaas celebrations united the diverse populations along the Hudson River.

Our refashioned, non-sectarian, Hudson River-style celebration hosts two events over two weekends:

1) Sinterklaas Arrives by Boat on the Hudson River
Saturday, November 30, 2013, 12pm – 5pm — Send off in Kingston’s Rondout with activities for kids, merchant open houses, music, food and a Broadway Parade to send off Sinterklaas. Parade steps off at 2:45pm. Sinterklaas then sets sail on a big red Hudson River Tugboat as he heads to the other side of the river.

2) Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in Rhinebeck
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 10am – 10pm — All Day Festival & Twilight Starlight Parade, with activities for all ages from 10am to 10pm. Continuous music, dance, theatre; on the streets see the Grumpuses, Morris Dancers, Bond Street Stilt Band, Raya Brass Band and more! Shops, restaurants and church spaces all over town will have non-stop activities and performances. Featured performers: Vanaver Caravan & Arm of the Sea Puppets, Bindlestiff Cirkus, Ivy Vine Players, storyteller Jonathan Kruk, Solas An Lae Irish Step Dancers, Dog On Fleas, and a cavalcade of excitement – everywhere you look. See our Illuminated Book and follow the Tree Trail sponsored by our village shops.

At 5pm: line up for the Parade – Starr Library Parking Lot, Rt. 308. All are invited to come and carry a giant puppet. First come, first served – or sign up online to carry puppets, banners and flags. At 6pm: Starlight Parade Steps Off – parade viewing all along East and West Market Street (Rt. 308).

Sinterklaas is designed by Hudson Valley Community Productions, led by Celebration Artist Jeanne Fleming and Master Puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, and supported by hundreds of volunteer hours by our community. The entire event is supported by the generosity of the community to bring joy for years to come!

For details and specific event information visit sinterklaasrhinebeck.com or follow on Facebook:  Sinterklaas Rhinebeck and Sinterklaas Kingston. Winner of the Dutchess County Spirit Award, the Dutchess County Executive’s Art in Public Spaces Award and – now – among the Top Ten Seasonal Celebrations in the Northeast (AAA Magazine, November 2011).

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