The Sinterklaas Festivities draw on the Hudson Valley’s Dutch heritage, but with some modern day twists. Children are the focus — becoming kings and queens for the day, turning the switches of the original story into royal scepters. Children make scepters and crowns for themselves at the Crowns and Branches workshops. “But it can’t be about the wanting and having, either.” says creator Jeanne Flemming, “They each have to tie wishes into their branch — one for the community, one for the family, one for the world. They understand their responsibility to be a good king or queen.”
Mirroring the original Dutch legend in which Sinterklaas leaves Spain by boat for Holland, our Hudson Valley re-creation provides a day of fun-filled activities in Kingston ending with a parade to escort Sinterklaas to his boat for the week-long ride across the Hudson River to Rhinebeck.
The day features performances at venues throughout the village: dance, music and theatrics, tightrope walking, even fire juggling! Strolling musicians, dancing Grumpuses and a variety of colorful characters wander the streets of the village to delight children with stories and treats. Astride his white steed, Sinterklaas leads the Children’s starlight Parade, which culminates in the center of town with the Sinterklass pagent, honoring the children and ending with a stirring wish for peace.