“Sinterklaas Rhinebeck is everything you want in a village holiday celebration.”
-Huffington Post Travel
Since 2008, the first Saturday of December has seen the village of Rhinebeck, NY transformed into the wonder that is the Sinterklass Festival Day, a culmination of events that begin a full week earlier, across the Hudson River in Kingston, NY. This day-long festival is a non-denominational celebration, the focus of which is not only to honor the 300-year-old history of the Dutch settling in the region, but to bring the focus of the Holidays away from commercialization, and back to the roots of family and community.
On this day, visitors from near and far join with local residents to witness the spectacle of over 250 actors, magicians, puppeteers, and musicians who come together to offer concerts, dance performances, children’s workshops and theatre at locations throughout the village, from the street corners, to the library, churches, retail establishments and restaurants.
Some highlights of the day’s events include: Crowns & Branches workshops; the 12:00 pm Opening Ceremony at the historic Beekman Arms, where you can also view local Chef Jessica Bard’s Cookie Tree and The Illuminated Manuscript of Sinterklaas throughout the day; the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus; Pachyderm Palace Theater; and roaming artists such as Roger the Jester.
The pinnacle of the day’s events starts at 6:00 p.m., when everyone comes together for the Children’s STARlight Parade, which courses through the streets of downtown and ends in a Children’s STAR CEREMONY that includes fire juggling and even more surprises.