“…just a smile away from Whoville with a hint of It’s a Wonderful Life.”
—Huffington Post


who makes it happen | sinterklaashundsonvalley.com

It Absolutely takes a village!

Thank you to the 2021 Sinterklaas Donors

(as of November 28, 2021)

Beyond the Beyond

$5000 +
Del’s Dairy Farm
Robert C. Duffy and his Children Victoria and Caldwell
Learn, Play, Create: Dutchess County
Frost Memorial Fund
Rhinebeck Responds
Thomas Thompson Trust
Illiana VanMeeteren


Infinity and Beyond

Codebec Kane Advised Fund
Rhinebeck Rotary
Winter Sun & Summer Moon
Tatiana Serafin
Al Boutin and Lindy Wright


The Universe

$1000 – $2499
The Art of Building
Sarah Bissonnette-Adler, Production Coordinator
A. John Blair, MD
ENTA Network for
Teachers and Artists
Matthew Fass Website Design
Jeanne Fleming and Wonderworks
Heermance Farms
Henry L. Kimmelman Family Foundation
Dal LaMagna
Mirbeau Inn and Spa
M. Suzy Morris Costume Design
Omega Institute
Richard W. Prouse Stage Scenery
Albert Shahinian Fine Art
The Courtyard
Martha Tobias Special Events
Williams Lumber


The Super Nova

$500 – $999
Aroi Thai Restaurant
Buns Burgers
The Beekman Arms
Charny & Wheeler P.C.
Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty
Michael DaCola
Liz Mazzarella and Al DeCotiis
Enjoy Rhinebeck
Haven Spa
Hoolihan Lawrence
Hummingbird Jewelers
Paper Trail
Tricia and Foster Reed
Renee Snyder
Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market
Ruge’s Automotive Inc.
Al and Aida Wilder


The Galaxy

$250 – $499
College Planning Connections
Sarah Hill & Guillermo Fesser
Cecily and Mike Frazier
Jen Hammoud & Ricardo Gutierrez
Haggerty Law Offices
Eamonn Johnson
Raina Kattelson
Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods
Andrea Loukin and Micahel Kaye
Felicia Keesing
Scott and Laurel Kemp
Jonna and David Kliphon
The Basile-Del Pizzo Family
Richard Kopyscianski
Wendy Bush Lyons , Esq.
Sally and Mike Mazzarella
Cheryl and Roger Norton
Brian and Kimberly Orcutt
Phyllis Palmer
Periwinkles at Rhinebeck
Susan J. Ragusa.com
Rhinebeck Architecture
Rhinebeck Department Store
The Rogovic Family
Sue Sie
The Torranova Family


The Milky Way

$125 – $249
Atelier Renee Fine Framing
Aba’s Falafel
Jessica T. Bard
Susan Phillips and Greg Barker
D&L Craft Enterprises
Peter Dolese
Deirdre d’Albertis and Peter Gadsby
Ed Bergstrasser
Gigi Trattoria
Pamela Governale
Edward J. Haas Law
Iconic Hair
Betsy Jacaruso Studio & Gallery
Kristen Lengyel
Gretchen and Mark Lytle
Frank Mazzarella, Architect
Migliorelli Farm
Momiji Hibachi & Sushi
Patricia O’Connor
Peter Amendola and Jerry Pagiliari
Ruby Palmer Studio
Georgia Dent and Jeff Perry
Pizzeria Posto
Fraleigh & Rakow, Inc.
Beorge Reskakis
Rhinebeck Animal Hospital
Rhinebeck Pilates Center
River and Post
Carol and Martin Rosenblum
Debbie and Hector Rodriguez
Julia Solomon
Smoky Rock BBQ
Staley Real Estate
Twin Ponds Nursery
VanNorstrand and Hoolihan CPA


Star Clusters

$75 – $124
Jill Lundquist and Doug Baz
Linda Farber
Samantha Hunt
The LeHane Family
Dede Leiber
Mark Perez
Barbara Pokras
Lisa-Sue and Kurt Quackenbush
Ed and Cathy Sullivan
Emma Tourtelot
Justin Watrel
Debra Wollens


Be A Star

$20 – $74
The Lynch Family
Gennaro Pasquale
Jospeh Phelan
Liza Berdnik
Jennifer Brown
Charles Buehler
Lois Fricke
Susan and Steven Gausepohl
Elizabeth Kirchoff
Robin Knaut
Paul Kobel
Su Mead
Patricia Murphy
Heidi Slatkin
Jonathan Wechsler
Daniel Sistarenik


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…


Where to begin?

So much has changed in the two years since we have done Sinterklaas. As I look through the Thank You from that time before this time, I see so many who are gone—either left us forever or those who moved away or are still traumatized by it all.


And yet, our community is there.

Sometimes far apart, sometimes right in there as always. No one is the same, and yet the spirit of community that was there at the beginning 14 years ago is still there in everyone’s hearts. There is always time for stories. There is always time to take time for each other.


And so, we begin…

to remember—the elders, those in the middle and the children for whom we hope a better future. Those engaged in Sinterklaas are folks of hope who settle into joy and celebration even when times are tough. Maybe even more so.


So, everyone has a story….

every place we engaged with has a story…and so do we. Ours is a tale of love and peace. Of a Frog and a Mouse, who fell in love in troubled times…who walked across water and land to remind us to be kind to one another in all our differences.


All together now!

We are led by own Village leaders…Mayor Basset and his wife who suffered the year both personally and in their roles in their community. As they recommit to each other, they stand as beacons for us all to recommit, re-engage, reflect, and rejoice in each other!


We thank our

police and fireman, Ems. Sgt Pete Dunn, Kyle and Chrissy Eighmy. Mark Brown who safeguarded our community and saved lives (one of them my husband).



This year’s Holders of the Flame The Frischknechts! Henry, Maureen, and the children! Henry, Claire, Joseph, and Tsiory


And the Lineage:

The Terranovas 2019; 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 the deep heritage.


Through good times and bad…

Elena Erber who designed ALL our graphics, including this beautiful book and a lot MORE!


Our Rainbow Connection!

Martha Tobias!


Toadally Devoted!

After 14 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, Jill Lundquist, Suzy Morris, Dorna Schroeter, Debby Franke Ogg, Nancy Karimi and Colleen Bloxham who keep the home fires burning all year long.


Mouse Woman and Uncle Toad

Debby Franke Ogg and Richard Aldrich. The ODD couple who make perfect sense!


Leap Year!

Liz Howls who filled an empty year with promise. “Til We Meet Again!


The ties that bind!

Dorna’s mom. She sits and spins.


As the Mouse teaches us…

small is powerful! The Toy Theater and Roberto Rossi!


Gym Stars!

Joanna Hess and her merry crew spinning gold out of stuff! All the helpers at the Crowns and Branches Workshop! Joanna Hess, Coordinator, and her marvelous team: Andrea Alvin, Garnette Arledge, Jennifer Breslin, Mary Burns, Erin Drickel, Joanna Dupee, Maribeth Feinberg, Cecily Frazier, Cait Johnson, Elizabeth Kearns, Melisca Klisanin, Robbie Puglisi, Sarah Miller, Alison Roland, Dorna Schroeter, Barbara Westermann, and Mary Yankajtis.
Glowing StarMakers: Susan Bissonnette, Maribeth Feinberg, Linda Helbling, Joanna Hess, Nancy Karmini, Sarah Miller, Dorna Schroeter, and Lindy Wright.


Super Mouse!

Joanna Hess!


Would you? And he did!

He said YES! Dave’s Tree Service for branches and lights!


She’s Over The Rainbow and on to us!

The extraordinary Suzy Morris creator of Frog, Miss Mousey, Uncle Toad, Mouse Woman and The Mermaid, the Sea Star, the Snow King, Snow Queen, Star Child, the Owlettes, the Owl Queen of the Night and her Mouse, the NEW gorgeous Sinterklaas Robe, those crazy Kukeri, African and Indian Elephants & the Caterpillar! And, just to bring it up again, the Owlettes! And the Rainbow!


Tie the Knot!

The Original Froggy and Miss Mousey: Sarah Bissonnette-Adler and Matthew Fass.


She does not mouse around!

Empress Becky Holt! And special thanks to the trinket lady extraordinaire, Jeniece Schroeter for making sure all the creative needs of the wee kings and queens are met. And to Jeff Newman: solid ground.


Mushroom Power!

Garett Grassi and the Love Nest! We are glad you left one shroom for us!


Dreamy! Really dreamy!

Lara Ganz and her magnificent Dream Studio troupe! Coming out!

The heat is on!


He brought us in from the cold!

David Ruff and Dutchess Shepherd for our Crowns and Branches, rehearsal and open space.


Cross Species Wedding!

It was all for you Jason and JoJo!


Our Queen Mother!

Lila Pague


Blessings upon you!

Gigi Alvare for writing the Blessings year after year and Julia Haines for setting them to music for harp, singing and offering them to us!



Jessie Triun as Mother Holly!


Quiet Time!

Thanks to Kelly Dooley and the Anderson School for your careful guidance in making sure Sinterklaas is truly for everyone!


She has no trouble being GREEN!

Johanna Bard in the Green Room with her very green helpers!


Where we live!

The Celebration Spaces: We thank the Rhinebeck Fire Department for their generosity for the Toy Theatre space; the Bantas for our Opening Ceremony at the Beekman Arms. Betsy Jacaruso Gallery for hospitality! Connie Bathrick and the Courtyard! Foster’s Coach House for opening the heart of our Village (the White Corner!) forging a Town Green for all our performers and folks to gather. Our Vaudeville House and Cirkus Tent: Upstate Films.


The Chapel of Love and all its inhabitants!

To the United Methodist Church and Pastors Steve and Nan Ernst for our Chapel and Leighann Kowalsky and her merry troupe of creatures who bore witness to the Engagement of the Century accompanied by Reggie Harris and Betty and the Baby Boomers who sang them on their way!


Our Cathedral!

Church of the Messiah and Fr. Richard McKeon and all you do for the community year-round.


Froggy went a asking…

and he did find! Our Ask Me Ladies! These women know it all! Dorna Schroeter, Fearless Leader, Jennifer Beslin, Mary Burns, Diana Devlin, Cecily Frazier, Arledge Garnette, Janice Hulst-Murphy, Val Kilmer, Gail Liebhabe, Judith Nelson, Sara Olson, Robbie Puglisi, Ali Roland, Pat Sexton, Loretta Spense, Amy Tully, Becky Tyre and Lad Eric Blohm for providing vehicle support.


Hidden Treasures!

Pocket Lady Carla Carbone and her Pocket Mate, Wally Carbone.


Here’s a riddle for you…..

What does a person do who is an expert on velcro?
Answer: She sticks with you! That’s our Dorna Schroeter!


What do Grumpuses do at a wedding?

They Grump, of course! This year’s crew: Mike Bloxham, Kurt Fischer, Richard Kopyscianski, Robby Long, Clifford Hart , Terence McCorry, John Schmitz, Mark Perez, Chris Gilbert, Andy Crispell, Jamyang Lodoe, Nick Matsakis, Steven Young, and Victor Zelek


Old Grumpus don’t fade away–they are immortal!

Andy Crispell, Matthew Gelfer, Harlan Matthews, D. Andy Weintraub, Ricky Aldrich, Wally Carbone, Dodd Crane, David Gelb, Arun Lahiri, Bruce Lubman, Steven Pague, Stephen Robin, Richard Prouse, Heinz Sauer & Bob Wills. ALL trained by Martha Tobias.



The 500 kids in the Chancellor Livingston School who made Frog and Mouse pictures!


Great way to start the day!

Getting up early is not so un-BEARable! Especially when it is with the sexiest man alive! Not to mention John Traver and Judge Hilary for keeping the tradition alive!


The Three Mousketeers!

Thank you for making THE difference! Matt, Robert and Van.


Down But NOT out!

Pat Sexton and Nancy Karimi!!
They forged on!
That Pat, we just got her re-tired so she’s ready to roll!!



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., Pastor Luis Perez, Pastor James Miller and Pastors Steven and Nan Ernst, and their helpers the lovely Melodye Moore and the ever gracious 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.


The Wedding Party!

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! AND Bistro To Go!! MaryAnn and Richard Erikson! Bravo! 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, TOPS, Aba’s Falafels, Aroi Thai Restaurant, Pete’s Famous Restaurant, Samuel’s, Osaka Japanese Restaurant, BUNS BURGERS and Jessica Bard


Knitting it all together!

Grace Schultz, Sarah Bissonnette-Adler, Matthew Fass, Stephen Kurowski, Jeff Newman, Peter Muste, Matt Rymkiewicz, , Alyssa Greenway, JJ Muste, Jen Hammoud, Ricardo Gutierrez, Mark Schuyler, Peter Muste, Susan Bissonnette, Barry Cohen, Sara Valentine, Jen Gapay and Sarah, David Studiniski, Chris Vecchio, Maria Tamburro, Sara Valentine, Fontaine, and Cheryl Norton.



Can you hear that???? It’s ‘cause of Omega Institute’s Ken Kuter and Skip Backus!


Howie Callies

for driving the puppet truck!


Our own special Sinterklaas!

Scott Cruikshank–only the best will do!


It’s no small task to build Giant Puppets!

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 , the Sturgeon and NOW FROGGY AND MISS MOUSEY and all the GANG!


Behind the scenes! 

Cait Johnson…quiet voice…
always heard…


All the artists and performers!


To the Frogs that we kissed…

so they could become Princes! Al Boutin, Steven Michael Pague, Bernard Greenwald, Mike Bloxham, Peter Muste, Donald Corrin, Dave Tobias, Albert Shahinian, Matthew Rymkiewicz, and Harlan Matthews who play greater roles than anyone could ever imagine.


To Ania Aldrich

Gigi Alvare for the original work and setting us on the path and to Mavin who graces us with her presence this year!


To my son Jordan,

who has taught us much and Samantha Strong for her care (and cookies!).


And the SquadrONE

Suzy, Lindy, Debby, Jeanne and Betty.


14 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.

2019 the keyword of the year was FOCUS. This year the key word is ENDURANCE.
As a community we have endured, and yet we still live with a kind of uncertainty. Early on I was given the guidance “Be patient.”

On one of the more challenging days, my friend Debby reminded me of Rilke’s “Words to a Young Poet:”

Be patient toward all that is unsolved and try to love the questions themselves. Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. The point is, to LIVE EVERYTHING. Live the questions now. And, perhaps you will—gradually, without noticing, live some long distant way to the answer.

We hope this year that Sinterklaas brings joy and relief! As we tie ribbons around each other’s wrists, we hope they will become the ties that bind us together again.


We are 
all together! NOW!
Love is in the air!

—Jeanne Fleming
designer and coordinator
Speaking for ALL of us at Sinterklaas

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