Rolling into Rhinebeck on December 6th the Sinterklaas festival kicks off a day long celebration of children, art, and the light of the winter season. The Dutch tradition arrived from the Netherlands over 300 years ago, and continues to commemorate every year. To this day Sinterklaas still takes place in Holland on December 6th. American revived tradition invites all members of the Rhinebeck community to take part in the festivities.
The story of Sinterklaas says a town resident dressed elegantly in a bishop’s tall hat, red cape, shiny ring, and jeweled staff rode through town knocking on doors at night. Accompanied by the Grumpus, know as Black Peter, a wild looking half-man half beast, delivered a bag of goodies to the good children. The naughty children, were greeted by the Grumpus' rattled chains, who threatened to steal them away in his big black bag.
The Sinterklaas story honors children in a parade and pageant, as they are the kings and queens of the day. A “Crowns & Branches Workshop” will be held at the Fire House from 10 am to 4 pm to ensure all children have the opportunity to make their crowns and adorn heir branches for the upcoming evening parade. At 6:00pm the spectacular Children’s Starlight Parade will close out the event by featuring two-story tall animated puppets carried by volunteers throughout town.