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

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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.”

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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 pageant, 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.

WATCH THE MOVIE–IT’S STILL GOOD!

Remember the promise of 2020! SINTERKLAAS MOVIE 2020: Leap Year!

Our movie was made for the Covid year, but its promise is everlasting! Make sure the children see it now so they know Sinterklaas is coming back…because some wishes DO come true!

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 the 2020 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.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. This movie was funded in part by Rhinebeck Responds.

THE HONORED ANIMAL FOR 2023 IS THE ANT!!!

The cat is out of the bag!  No, the Honored Animal is NOT the cat!  It is the ANT!  Ants are a group of individuals who work together in community to make their world a better place!  YES!!!  By luck or fate, this year the Honored Animal chose us, rather than the other way around!  Martha Tobias caught the moment on video right in her own backyard!  Don’t miss it!  And be sure to watch the end!WATCH the “The Ants CHOSE US” a short video by Martha Tobias.You can read a bit about this in the Chronogram and The Pilot!So, we need a whole host of worker ants!  Volunteers to help us pull off a wonderful celebration with all kinds of new ideas!  So, come join our colony!!  and Off we go…Volunteer!There’s a place for everyone, because, as you know, there are all kinds of ants!! To name a few…acrobat, army, bullet, carpenter, crazy, driver, fire, ghost, harvester, honey pots, jumping jack, leaf cutter, pharaoh, queen, thief and weaver. Find your role! Come and join us!

BUY A STAR / FEED A FAMILY!

Our stars feed both the soul and the body!Not only are they needed for the final Star Ceremony at the Pageant following the Parade, but In the true spirit of Sinterklaas, a portion of every STAR you buy will be donated to the food pantries in Rhinebeck to help those most in need in our community!N.B.: 2023 Illuminated Sinterklaas stars featuring the Honored Animal— the ANT !— can be purchased right here online and shipped to your home until November 27th. After that we can ship stars, but they will not reach you in time for Sinterklaas.You can pre-order stars online here until they become available on October 1 and after that you can order them here or 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!

SEE THE PROGRAM FROM 2022

Join us for a full day of great performances and surprises all over town.

MEET THE PERFORMERS

Sinterklaas brings over 400 performers to town for its days of celebration. 

FOR A VISUAL TREAT!

GIANT PUPPET WORKSHOPS

HELP BUILD THE GIANT  PUPPETS FOR SINTERKLAAS !!!  HELP NEEDED!!!  Volunteer HERE!!  and NOW!!

Join Sinterklaas puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles for workday sessions to create a grove of walking trees and glowing porcupines, and to restore beloved favorites for the Starlight Parade!  Workshops are geared towards adults and teens, and older children working with an adult are welcome!”

CROWNS & BRANCHES

Each year we begin the preparations for Sinterklaas Festival Day with fun activities for all. Crowns & Branches as well as the Puppet Workshops begin on November 1 and are open to the community. Children & adults welcome. Lots of fun/

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.”

Buy A Star

Feed A Family

Our stars feed both the soul and the body!

Scavenger Hunt

Help the and find her colony!

Parking Spot Raffle

We all know how hard it is to park on Sinterklaas Day. Here is a chance to win your very own parking spot for December 2nd — all day and evening.

With Gratitude

This project is made possible, in part, through funding from Dutchess Tourism, Inc. and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.

It's A Great Show!

Sinterklaas brings over 350 musicians, actors, magicians and other magical performers to town to entertain you!