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


who makes it happen | sinterklaashundsonvalley.com

It Absolutely takes a village!

Even though Sinterklaas was cancelled in 2020, some folks donated anyway to keep this little organization alive. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts! They made it possible to obtain the stars and raise the money for the community!
And Special Thanks for Lindy Wright who coordinated all the Star sales and Joanna Hess who made so much possible! And Mark Fuerst, who created the idea of “Buy a Star, Feed a Family!”

2020 Supporters!

Robert C. Duffy and his children Victoria and Caldwell
Rhinebeck Responds
The Henry R. Kimelman Family Foundation
Illiana van Meeteren
Dal LaMagna
Keven Cahill
Enjoy Rhinebeck
D & L Craft Enterprises
Nathaniel Charny
Adeline Malone
The Turpin Foundation
Felicia Keesing and Family
Joel Giffin
Christine Kurlander

Adele Chefridi Jewelry
Beekman Arms
Hudson Valley Vintage
Hummingbird Jewelers
Iconic Hair
Land of Oz
Mirbeau of Rhinebeck
Paper Trail
Rhienbeck Depatment Store
Rhinebeck Artist’s Shop
Sapling Shop
Sunflower Natural Foods
Willimas Lumber
Willow Wood
Winter Sun/Summer Moon
Zimmer Brothers


Thank you to the 2019 Sinterklaas Donors

Beyond the Beyond

$5000 +

The Stinchcomb
Family Fund

Robert C. Duffy and
his children Victoria
and Caldwell

The Frost Memorial Fund


Infinity and Beyond


Foster’s Coach House & Heermance Farm

Rhinebeck Rotary

Thomas Thompson Trust


The Universe


Arts Mid-Hudson

Douglas Baz Photography

Sarah Bissonnette-Adler Production Coordination

Carolyn Marks Blackwood

Cale Communications

The Courtyard

ENTA Education Network for Teachers and Artists

Matthew Fass Website Design

Jeanne Fleming and Wonderworks

Dal LaMagna

Mid Hudson Federal Credit Union

Mirbeau of Rhinebeck

M. Suzy Morris Costume Design

Omega Institute

Foster & Tricia Reed

Richard Prouse Stage Scenery

Albert Shahinian Fine Art

Stewart’s Shops


Iliana Van Meeteren

Martha Tobias Special Events

Williams Lumber

Winter Sun & Summer Moon


The Super Nova

$500 – $999

A. L. Stickle Variety Store

The Art of Building

The Beekman Arms

Betsy Jacaruso Studio & Gallery

CO: A Co-Working Space

Enjoy Rhinebeck

Hammertown Rhinebeck

Haven Spa

Margaret C. Howe

Hummingbird Jewelers

Jordan Matthews

Paper Trail

Rhinebeck Bank

Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market

Ruge’s Automotive, Inc.

Tatiana Serafin

Sue Sie

Renee and Craig Snyder

The Galaxy

$250 – $499

Aroi Thai Restaurant

Sandra and John Blair

Buns Burgers

Karen Burke

Central Hudson

Charny and Wheeler P.C.

College Planning Connections, LLC

Mike and Cecily Frazier

Vicki L. Haak, CPF

Haggerty Law Offices

Jen Hammoud

Hetta Glogg

Katharine Malaga

Wendy Bush Lyons, Esq.

Monique Martin

Maya Kaimal Foods LLC

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


No Sugar

Roger and Cheryl Norton

Oblong Books & Music

Kimberly and Brian Orcutt

Felicia Keesing and Rick Ostfeld

Phyllis G. Palmer

Paula Redmond Real Estate, Inc.

Susan Ragusa

Warren S. Replansky, Attorney at Law

Rhinebeck Animal Hospital

Rhinebeck Architecture

Rhinebeck Department Store

The Rogovic Family

Samuel’s Sweet Shop

James and Abby Saxon

Sunflower Market

The Turpin Foundation

Andy and Linda Weintraub

Al and Aida Wilder

Al Boutin and Lindy Wright

Emily Houpt and

Victor Zelek


The Milky Way

$125 – $249

Aba’s Falafel


Atelier Renee Fine Framing

Ellen Bowe

Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill

Hannelore Chambers

CJ’s Italian Restaurant and Pizza

Clear Yoga

DF Craft Construction


Dr. Tom’s Tonics

Anne Moehle Ferrara

Sarah Hill and Guillermo Fesser

Fraleigh & Rakow Insurance

David and Joanne Gelb

Veronique Guccione

Edward J. Haas

Hudson Valley Pottery

Hudson Valley Vintage

Iconic Hair

JSA Sustainable Wealth Management

Christine Kurlander

The Kroeg

Andrew Stewart and Cricket Lengyel

Continued next column…

The Milky Way Continued

Liberty Public House

Robby Long

Greg and Sheila Lynch

Mark and Gretchen Lytle

The Mabreys: Vicki, Sienna & Grant

Mike and Sally Mazzarella

Momiji Hibachi & Sushi

Montgomery Row

Patricia O’Connor

Olde Rhinebeck Inn c. 1745

Thomas Ostrofsky

Peter Amendola and Jerry Pagliari

Pegasus Footwear

Periwinkles at Rhinebeck

Georgia Dent and

Jeff Perry

Susan Phillips

Pilates Center, Beth Graziano

Pizzaria Posto

Diana Devlin and David Reynolds

Rhinebeck Convenience Store

Rhinebeck Yoga Center

Rikert’s Auto Body, Inc.

Smoky Rock BBQ

Staley Read Estate LLC

Twin Ponds Nursery

Zimmer Brothers


Star Clusters

$75 – $124

Jill Lundquist and Doug Baz

Ed Bergstraesser

Mike and Colleen Bloxham

Elaine Collandrea

Dodd and Dorothy Crane

Peter Dolese

Joseph and Nancy Drago

Ryan Fortwendel

Oliva! Gourment Olive Oils & Vinegars

Ruby Palmer Studio

The Pelosi Family

Kurt and Lisa-Sue Quackenbush

Hector and Debbie Rodriguez

Dorna Schroeter

George Reskakis

The Tourtelot Family

The Wollens Family

Van Norstrand & Hoolihan CPA

Chiling Weng

Justin Watrel

Linda Woznicki


Be A Star

$20 – $74

Gail Bennek

Liza Berdnik

Charles Buehler

Geraldine, Jeff, Giancarlo and Michaelo Calvo-Kirby Calvo

Deborah Duke

Nancy Ebel

Linda Faber

Steven and Susan Gauspohl

Howard and Jane Korn

Anne McGrath and Stephen Mosto

Joe and Pat Phelan

Barbara Pokras

M. Christine Shaffer

The Sullivan Family

Jon Wechsler


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…


County & State

County Executive Mark Molinaro and Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson, Sue Serino and Kevin Cahill for their support!


Village & Town

The Village Board, Mayor Gary Bassett for all you do! Sgt. Pete Dunn continues to be extraordinary! And the Rhinebeck Fire Department for inviting us into your home! Kyle and Crissy Eighmy! The Town Board, Elizabeth Spinzia, Supervisor, and the Rhinebeck


Chamber of Commerce

Family! The Rhinebeck Rotary and Interact Club for Puppeteers and Parade Marshals. Thank you, Rotarians for your vast and deep support! We truly can’t do it without you!



To the Frost Memorial Fund!! Never forgotten.


A special shout out

to Elijah Bender whom we have gotten to know!


Terranova! New Land! Under the sea!

Holders of the Flame & the breath 2019, The Terranova Family: Lucas, Maureen, Saxton, Sterling and Sabine. Keep breathing.


And the Lineage:

The Wright/Pearson Family 2018; The Hoolihan/Kruger Family 2017; The Hewitt Family 2016! The Cruikshanks 2015! and The Stickles, 2014!


Keepers of the Flame…

George and Phebe Banta for showing up and believing in us!
Fortitude, Courage and Love! Elena Erber who designed ALL our graphics, including this beautiful book and a lot



Queen Triggerfish: Martha Tobias!


Still committed:

(Help!!! They won’t let us out!!! Can you hear us???) After 12 years: The Wonder Women 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, Debby Franke Ogg, Nancy Karimi and Colleen Bloxham who keep stirring the pot all year long.


No Leaks!

Actually there’s nothing secret about how much we love the Great Leader of the Crowns and Branches Workshop, Joanna Hess.


Out of the depths!

Sarah Bissonnette-Adler and Matthew Fass. Surface!


Size doesn’t matter!

The Toy Theater and Roberto Rossi!


Staying Power!

She Who Does Not Quit! Empress Becky Holt! And special thanks to the well-known trinket lady extraordinaire, Laura D’Attore and her Mermaid Jeniece Schroeter for making sure all the creative needs of the wee kings and queens are met. And to Jeff Newman: solid ground.


Squirrels ahoy!

The Swap Team strikes again! 
Lindy Wright, Jill Lundquist, Linda Helbing, Nancy Karimi, Mel Dean, Debby Franke Ogg, Cheryl Norton, Dorna Schroeter, Suzy Morris, Anne Ballantine, Tina Shaffer, Dee Ballantine, Jillian Ballantine, Gail Benneck and Joanne Gelb.


Always Bea there!

Bea Lambert for continued inspiration.


Big Fish/ Little Fish:

To Paul O’Connor for our GIANT FISH. Abby Saxon, Jane Resnick and Lila Pague for our Little Fish.


Mother of the Bride!

The Exquisite Lila Pague


Shine On!

Lauree Ostrofsky, our Crescent Moon!


All the helpers at the Crowns and Branches Workshop!

Joanna Hess, Coordinator, and her marvelous team: Johanna Bard, Mary Burns, Nina Doyle, Maribeth Feinberg, Karen Hinderstein, Melisca Klisanin, Robbie Puglisi, Sarah Miller, Tess Miller, Dorna Schroeter, Oona Shain, Loretta Spence, Saira Sukthankar, Linda Helbing, Norma Dolan and Cecily Frazier.



To those who swoop in at the end and make it work: The Rhinebeck Rotary and Daytop.


Keep her in OUR kitchen!

Colleen Bloxham. She’s all ours, OURS!


Say it with a song!

Julia Haines, Harp and accordion. Gigi Alvare for Don Gato! Blessings on you both!


Our Mermaid and her Sea Star!

Cait Johnson and Terry O’Keefe. Pearls of Girls! With wisdom to share.


And their Merfolk:

Mark Perez and Jeniece Schroeter.



Robin and Dan Shorstein for years and years and years.


Where we live! Celebration Spaces:

We thank the Rhinebeck Fire Department for their generosity for the Crowns and Branches space! We thank the United Methodist Church for the SWAP, the Workshop, and Horns a’plenty! And the Bantas for our Star Party and Green Room at the Beekman Arms. Betsy Jacaruso Gallery for the Grumpus Hideout! Connie Bathrick and the Courtyard! 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 a Town Green for all our performers and folks to gather. Our Vaudeville House and Cirkus Tent: DeDe Leiber and Upstate Films.


And our newest location!

CO: Co-working + meetings + events in an inspiring space in Rhinebeck! That’s exactly what CO did for Sinterklaas by providing a space for our Grumpus to dance!


The Fish Bowl!

Special Thanks for Connie Bathrick for comfort and grace!


Special Tanks (oops, we mean Thanks!…)

To the United Methodist Church and Pastors Steve and Nan Ernst for our Celebration Space, Workshop, SWAP and Toy Theater and the Hornatopia!


Sweet memories…

Doug Baz for his 32 years of wonderful photographs that make it possible for us to tell the story and Dave Tobias and Michael DiPleco who have joined his ranks!


Sinterklaas Craft Fair…

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


And Jill! Oceans of care!!!


What is your wish, asked the Fish?

]Our Ask Me Ladies! These women know what they are talking about! Dorna Schroeter, Fearless Leader. Gwen Bardon, Joanna Hess, Kiki Steele, Mary Burns, Ana San Juan, Cecily Frazier, Garnette Arledge, Amy Tully, Val Kilmer, Diana Devlin, Marie Dynes, Nancy Suthhard, Risa Getman and Janice Hulst-Murphy. And for set up and tear down: David Gelb, Al Boutin and Rudy Younger.


What’s that you’ve got in your pocket?

It’s a fish!!! Given joyfully by our Pocket Lady Carla Carbone, with Dani Reuben and retired Grumpus and Pocket Mate, Wally Carbone.


Ichthyologist, Beauty Queen, Carpenter, Marketer and Scholar—

Dorna Schroeter! (notice how many times her name appears in these thank you pages!)


A Sea of Volunteers!

Tricia Reed and Ana Sanjuan for reining them in and to all those who animated puppets! Now you are 
300 strong!!


All those wild Grumpuses!

Mike Bloxham, , Andy Crispell, Kurt Fisher, Matthew Gelfer, Chris Gilbert Clifford Hart, Richard Kopyscianski, Jamyang Lodoe, Robby Long, Harlan Matthews, Nick Matsakis, D. Miller Terrance McCorry, Mark Perez, Stephen Robin, John Schmitz, Steven Young, Andy Weintraub and Victor Zelek. And Grumpus Emeritus: Ricky Aldrich, Wally Carbone, Dodd Crane, David Gelb, Arun Lahiri, Bruce Lubman, , Steven Pague, Richard Prouse, Heinz Sauer & Bob Wills. Trained by Martha Tobias.


Small Fry!

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


Those Wild Women!

Abby Saxon, the Wildest! Thanks to June and Charlie Schreck for their beautiful work decorating the Wild Women sound cart (and pulling it!!)


Great way to start the day!

Bear Beauty Contest. Samuel’s John Traver and Judge Hillary for keeping the tradition alive.


Street Art! at Chancellor Livingston—

Cynthia Baer and Kathy Giles, and at Rhinebeck High School—Fawn Johnson and the Art Club for their original paintings that hang in the trees!


Saint Pat!

You can finally lay down your cross.


Fresh Frozen!

The Snow King, Queen, and Star Child: Stefan Handl, Suzy Morris and Lark Wright.


Tibetan Wood for the branches!


She plunged right in!

The utterly talented and relentless Suzy Morris creator of The Mermaid, the Sea Star, the Snow King, Snow Queen, Star Child, the Owlettes, the Owl Queen of the Night and her Mouse, the gorgeous Sinterklaas Robe, those crazy Kukeri, African and Indian Elephants & the Caterpillar!



Cindy Kubick, formerly Mrs. Beekman, creates a new role as Mother Holly with her house made by Ania Aldrich and Terry O’Keefe.


Golden Boy!

The brilliant actor and artist Richard Prouse whose performance as Poseidon will live forever in the minds of all who saw it and whose painting genius for our stage always takes us into different worlds. And Mr. Barry Cohen who keeps it real. And the Village of Red Hook for the loaner!


The Drone… of Distinction,

David Gelb. Long Live Drone David! And his consort, Joanne!


When he’s not on vacation…

always there… Harlan Matthews.


Fellow Travelers

(to MFTA) Lindy Wright, Suzy Morris, and David Gelb


Hallelujah! Thank heaven for…!

The Church of the Messiah, the Reformed Church of Rhinebeck, The United Methodist Church, and the Third Evangelical Lutheran Church — we will say it again—folks filled with love and generosity in their hearts: Rev. Richard McKeon Jr., Fr. Luis Perez, Pastor James Miller and Pastors Steven and Nan Ernst, and Anna Pavord, Liz Irwin and the ever gracious and generous Bonnie Reyero. 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.


School of Fish!

To Riverkeeper for your vast knowledge and commitment.


A Feast! All those who donated food for the hundreds of performers and volunteers.

Thank you to Johanna Bard and Colleen Bloxham for keeping this army running with good food! Le Petit Bistro, Bread Alone, Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods, Sunflower Market, Migliorelli’s, Bubby’s Burritos, the Matchbox Cafe, Gaby’s, Grand Cru, Rhinebeck Bagels, Terrapin, Aba’s Falafels, Aroi Thai Restaurant, Pete’s Famous Restaurant, Samuel’s, Osaka Japanese Restaurant, Tops, and BUNS.


Aptly named!

The Starr Library for its warm welcome to all our stars—human and puppet! Stephen Cook and the Board of Trustees, Brooke Stevens, Dave Wanzer, Ed and Veronica Schroeder.


Fish Face!!

Thanks to Evelyn Avelado for the beautiful designs 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 fish masks for the children—especially Roger Norton, Becky Holt, Nancy Karimi and friends .


Catch of the Day!

Grace Schultz, Sarah Bissonnette-Adler, Stephen Kurowski, Jeff Newman, Tom Dressel, Peter Muste, Matt Rymkiewicz, Ricky de Zubiaurre, Alyssa Greenway, JJ Muste, Jen Hammoud, Vicki Rivera, Mark Schuyler, Mike Dunlap, Peter Muste, Susan Bissonnette, Barry Cohen, Michelle Rafferty Cary Kittner, Mary Pat Davies, and Francesca Hoffman.


Sounds right!

Omega Institute’s Ken Kuter and Skip Backus for letting us hear!
Howie Callies for driving the puppet truck!


Our own special Sinterklaas!

Scott Cruikshank, man with a golden heart.


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, the Elephants, Butterflies…and now the STURGEON!


All the artists and performers!

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


To my son

Jordan, who has taught us much and Samantha Strong for keeping spirits alive.


Ahoy Mates!

Those patient, long-standing, and supportive husbands: Al Boutin, Steven Michael Pague, Bernard Greenwald, Mike Bloxham, Peter Muste, David Gelb, Doug Baz, Donald Corrin, Dave Tobias, Albert Shahinian, Foster Reed and Harlan Matthews who play greater roles than anyone could ever imagine.

12 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.

It’s widely said that Sinterklaas is magical.

How does one create magic? 
Is it hocus pocus?

I say: it’s hocus FOCUS!

It’s paying attention to every detail and caring for everyone along the way. That’s what makes magic.

The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland says: “Imagination is the best defense against reality.”

I say it’s the best offense. Our imaginary mystical Creature—the Mermaid—and her half magical and half real companion—the Sea Star—inspire us to become more aware of the reality around us and how we can make it more like what we imagine or dream. They call to us to save all the endangered species—from the exotic, ancient and magnificent Sturgeon to the smallest, most expendable menhaden. Our imaginations allow us to live magnanimously, generously, creatively and hopefully IN our world.

Here’s the clue to Sinterklaas magic… Keep your imagination going at every moment of every day that you have on this earth and create an world that is safe, abundant and loved, where we can all breath freely.

Let’s bring about a Sea Change.

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