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

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 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 MOUSE and the FROG!

The 2021 Honored Animal(s) is(are) the MOUSE and the FROG! Since Froggy did not get his full due in 2020 with the cancellation, we are inviting him back for 2021! Indeed, according to the song Froggy Went A’Courtin’, Froggy and Miss Mousey are slated to be wed on Sinterklaas Day 2021! It will be a BIG COUNTRY WEDDING and YOU are invited! In mythology, the FROG is the healer. We needed him in these times. And the MOUSE…well how do you think all those vaccines were invented? They were all tested on MICE!! So, they are healers too!.


Sinterklaas Stars

2021 Illuminated Sinterklaas stars featuring the Honored Animal— the MOUSE! — can be purchased right here online and shipped to your home until December 31st. We will post the NEW design in a few weeks. Since there will be TWO Honored Animals this year, we encourage you to bring your FROG STAR to Sinterklaas this year as well! You can pre-order them online here. In October 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.


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.



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…