The famed Sinterklaas Celebration that has drawn thousands to Rhinebeck is going Bi-coastal for the second year and coming to Kingston to thrill and delight the children and the young at heart of Kingston. In the story, Kingston will play the role of Spain as a procession of giant puppets, stars, fish, flags, a boat that everyone can board, and the great Hudson River itself will travel down Broadway participating in the story of Sinterklaas’ arrival in the Hudson Valley.
Volunteers are needed to assist at the crowns and branches making workshops on Friday and Saturday from 12:00pm – 4:00pm. You will be there to help set up, assist the children and put things away at the end of the day. In addition, volunteers will be needed at the venues that will have entertainment.
Call for Grumpuses! And Wild Women! The Grumpuses are Sinterklaas’ wild sidekicks who carry out his judgment on the children—either switches for the bad or candies for the good. But, our Grumpuses are people you know in the community who are candy men, there for joyous revels and to delight the children. The Grumpus is also the Bel Snickle in German culture. Wild Women — If you have Wild Men (The Grumpuses) you have to have Wild Women — a fantastic gaggle!
The day culminates with a parade down Broadway where we will send Sinterklaas and his white horse off on a tugboat across the river to his destination in Rhinecliff. The Parade need hundreds of volunteers to help carry puppets, “steer” the boat, “ride” the waves, as well as for traffic control during the Parade.
As the event moves into the evening, activities will continue throughout the Rondout with special offers at restaurants and the lighting of the tree at dusk at the Downtown Visitors Center, where again volunteers will be needed.
Sign up early, become a part of the planning process, ask your friends, and like SinterklaasKingston on Facebook. For more information or to volunteer for the Sinterklaas events, call 845-339-4280 or visit www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com.
What is Sinterklaas
We are honoring our Dutch heritage by recreating customs that the settlers from Holland brought to the Hudson Valley. The Dutch people who came to here over 300 years ago brought a celebration with them that was already a deeply rooted part of their traditions.
The ritual was simple enough. Each year on December 6 (that’s the Dutch tradition, ours begins the first Saturday after Thanksgiving as we bid farewell to Sinterklaas sailing off to the Netherlands from Spain), a town resident dressed up as Sinterklaas (that is, elegantly garbed in a bishop’s tall hat, red cape, shiny ring, and jeweled staff). Mounted on a white steed, this Sinterklaas would ride through town knocking on doors late at night. He would be accompanied by his long-time sidekick, the Grumpus. Also known as Black Peter, the Grumpus — a wild looking half-man, half-beast character — rattled chains and threatened to steal away the naughtiest children in his big black bag. And for those “less bad” he had switches for exacting lesser punishments! And for the good children — Sinterklaas and the Grumpus would deliver a bag of goodies.
Over the years, as towns developed and houses grew closer together, Sinterklaas’ ride turned into a Parade that still happens in Holland to this day, and is the most popular of all Dutch holidays.