Sinterklaas Names 2017 Holders of the Flame; Honor to Be Bestowed on November 4 at Annual Star Party

By Marybeth Cale, Living Rhinebeck Magazine and Cale Communications

Photos courtesy of M. Salamone of Carrick Photography,

Carrick/ M. Salamone photo blog –

Rhinebeck, NY…. Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley, now in its 10th year, today announced that Lorrie Kruger, Tim Hoolihan, and family will be the 2017 Holders of the Flame for this year’s December celebration. The honor will be bestowed upon the Kruger/Hoolihan family at the Star Party on November 4 at the Beekman Arms (about one month prior to the Sinterklaas event).


“This honor is bestowed upon a local family who represents the true spirit of our event – the spirit of love that drives all of us to come together for the non-denominational Sinterklaas event year after year – the kind of love and friendship that fosters a sense of belonging and helps build connections,” Says Jeanne Fleming of Hudson Valley Community Productions, who coordinates Sinterklaas every year (and is also the artistic and producing director of the famous New York Village Halloween Parade each year). “We look forward to celebrating as Keepers of the Flame George and Phebe Banta (owners of the Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn) pass the Flame to Lorrie Kruger and Tim Hoolihan, this year’s Holders of the Flame.”

Kruger’s parents, Lila and Steven Michael Pague, are part of the core group that organizes the Sinterklaas event each year (this year, Sinterklaas will be held on December 2), and Kruger’s daughter Kylie has participated in the Children’s Starlight Parade (which will step off at 6pm in the Village of Rhinebeck at this year’s December 2nd event); the parade features two-story tall, animated puppets carried by hundreds of volunteers, and Kruger, Hoolihan, and family will lead the parade as “Holders of the Flame.”

The Sinterklaas event also features children’s Crowns & Branches workshops, dance, theatre, and music all over the Village of Rhinebeck, as well as a Dancing Bear, the Pocket Lady, and Mother Holly. This year’s honored animal is the elephant. Following the day of activities and evening parade, a Family Hoedown is scheduled to take place at the Town Hall, followed by a dance party at 9pm.

“Sinterklaas is so magical,” said Kruger. “When you see those lights coming down the hill from the Starr Library into the village and realize that hundreds of people worked to put it all together, it’s just amazing.”

Hoolihan added, “and when you look out at all of the people who line the streets – it’s just incredible. Such a wonderful event.”

“It helps many small businesses out and introduces new people to our area,” Kruger says of the event. “And all of the memories children bring home with them because of Sinterklaas – that’s amazing too – and of course for grown-ups as well. It teaches all of us about our Dutch heritage; we are lucky to have it here in our community.”

The “Holders of the Flame” designation will be made official at a pre-event Star Party on Saturday, November 4th at The Ballroom at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, just 4 weeks before the Sinterklaas event will take place. The Star Party serves as a fundraiser for Sinterklaas; tickets cost $50 per person.

For more information on Sinterklaas (including schedule), visit


Listings for Event Calendars:

Sat., Nov. 4

Star Party to benefit Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley

The Illustrious Star Party! Our most elegant gathering of the year at which the Snow King and Queen Bring the Celestial Flame to light the First Star that is presented by the Star Child to the Keepers of the Flame; the announcement of the new Family who act as Holders of the Flame for the Sinter Season and the Honored Animal. Stories, dances, live music, prizes and much, much more! Libations and Hors d’oeuvres are served. Our biggest fundraiser of the year! All welcome!

Time: 5:30-7:30pm

Location: The Ballroom at the Beekman Arms, Rhinebeck

Donation: $50; includes libations and hors d’ouevres

Tickets available online at

Sun., Nov. 19

Annual Artisan Craft Fair to benefit Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley

Works for sale by 25 local artists and craft Artisans including framed art, pottery, glass, woodworking, jewelry, photography, textiles, and more. Get your Holiday gift shopping done before Thanksgiving. Find something special for yourself!

Time: 10am-4pm

Location: Rhinebeck Town Hall, 80 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, NY

Admission: Free; includes gift-wrapping on purchases

Contact: Joanne Gelb,

Sat., Nov. 25

Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley Send-Off Celebration in Kingston

Sinterklaas departs from the historic Kingston Waterfront (playing “Spain” in our story) after a full day of store and gallery “open houses”, musical performances, workshops creating beautiful Crowns and Branches, and the Children’s Maritime Parade down Broadway, with stars and puppets galore. Kingston sends off Sinterklaas on a tugboat across the river to his destination (Rhinebeck). After his send off, there will be a Sinterklaas Soiree and plenty of specials at all of the local restaurants.

Time: Activities begin at 11am in Kingston; Send-off parade steps off at 4pm

Location: Historic Kingston Waterfront, Kingston, NY

Cost: Free of charge, open to the public

More information:

Sat., Dec. 2

Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley

A day-long, colorful, non-denominational celebration for people of all ages that features children’s Crowns & Branches workshops, dance, theatre and music all over the village of Rhinebeck. Don’t miss the Dancing Bear, the Pocket Lady, and Mother Holly. The spectacular Children’s Starlight Parade steps off at 6:00 pm, featuring two-story tall, animated puppets carried by hundreds of volunteers; closes the day at twilight.

Time: Activities all day, 10am-10pm; Children’s Starlight Parade at 6pm, Family Hoedown at 7pm, Adult Dance Party at 9pm

Cost: Free of charge, open to the public

More information:

Parking: Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck High School, the Rhinebeck Highway Department, and Starr Library. Be aware of Rhinebeck parking regulations as posted on the village streets. Parking is suspended along the parade route (Market Street) at 3pm. Arrive early and get good parking!


Photo Credit M.Salamone of Carrick Photography 1-DSC_5880