Rhinebeck, New York…..Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley, today announced details of its upcoming events. The Artisan Craft Fair will be held on Sun., Nov. 18th at the Rhinebeck Town Hall, the Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration in Kingston will be held on Sat., Nov. 24th, and the highly anticipated 11th Annual Sinterklaas! event will be held in Rhinebeck on Sat., Dec. 1st.
Set to take place at the Rhinebeck Town Hall, the Artisan Craft Fair on 11/18 from 10am-4pm is a fundraiser for Sinterklaas. There will be works for sale by 25 local artists and craft Artisans including framed art, pottery, glass, woodworking, jewelry, photography, textiles, and more. Admission is free.
Less than one week later, on Sat., Nov. 24th, Sinterklaas will depart from the Historic Kingston Waterfront after a full day of store and gallery “open houses,” performances including Arm of the Sea Theater, workshops creating beautiful Crowns and Branches, and the Children’s Maritime Parade down Broadway. Kingston sends off Sinterklaas on a tugboat across the river to his destination (Rhinebeck). Following the send off, there will be a Sinterklaas Soiree, Shadow Puppet Show by artist Liza Howlz, and plenty of specials at all of the local restaurants in Kingston. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
And, on Sat., Dec. 1st, the 11th annual Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley will fill almost every corner of the Village of Rhinebeck with music, theatre, art, activities, and entertainment of all kinds.
Says Jeanne Fleming, Hudson Valley Community Productions, who coordinates Sinterklaas every year (and is widely known as the artistic and producing director of the famous annual New York Village Halloween Parade, “We love creating an entire season of events around Sinterklaas, leading up to our day-long, colorful, non-denominational main event on December 1st – which is for people of all ages and honors our Dutch heritage by re-creating a celebration that the Dutch settlers brought to Rhinebeck over 300 years ago. Children are transformed into Kings and Queens and honored as the bringers of the light at the darkest time of year. The word ‘special’ is an understatement. You can feel the magic in the air all day long, year after year, as people come together to be joyful, peaceful, and hopeful for the future.”
The event will feature this year’s Honored Animal, the Butterfly, along with the Dancing Bear, the Pocket Lady, and Mother Holly. Says Fleming, “the Butterfly does not speak, and this event is all about Giving Voice, so we will give the Butterfly a voice through Julia Haines, who plays harp. There will also be a Monarchy: King and Queen of the butterflies, who will give audiences Seeds for Thought and Action. In addition, there will be a Migrating Monarch with her caterpillar, guests will enjoy seeing the Native American Butterfly Dance, and Betty Boomer with her Butterfly Giant book. Lots of singing….Giving Voice and the Butterfly Effect. The Methodist Church will be full of joyful sounds as brass bands share their talents, as will every nook and cranny of our community. It will be a beautiful celebration.”
Over 250 are set to perform and entertain throughout the day, with local favorites such as T McCann Band, The Vanaver Caravan, the Community Music Space Young Performers, Vassar Devils, and many more on the lineup. The Children’s Starlight Parade steps off at 6:00 pm, featuring two-story tall, animated puppets carried by hundreds of volunteers through the center of the Rhinebeck Village, and is followed by a pageant.
Parking will be available at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck High School, the Rhinebeck Highway Department, and Starr Library. Organizers note on the website to be aware of Rhinebeck parking regulations as posted on the village streets. Parking is suspended along the parade route (Market Street) at 3pm.
Sinterklaas is organized by hundreds of volunteers and funded by local businesses, individuals, and foundations, said Fleming. “We are extraordinarily grateful to the countless people who help make this a reality each year. The generosity of our local businesses, volunteers, as well as foundations and individual donors, is so heartwarming; to see the community embrace this opportunity for togetherness makes us all feel very fortunate to call this area home.”
The Sinterklaas excitement kicked off recently with The Star Party, where the Sinterklaas flame was officially passed to this year’s Holders of the Light, Matt Wright and Karen Pearson and family, who will lead the Starlight Parade.
About Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley
A non-denominational event, Sinterklaas joins residents and visitors alike, people of all ages and backgrounds, in a memorable celebration of children, art, and the light of the winter season.
“…just a smile away from Whoville with a hint of It’s a Wonderful Life.”