Kingston’s Rondout District will join the Dutch tradition reenacted in Rhinebeck during the holiday season by hosting the opening event of Rhinebeck’s Sinterklaas Celebration. With funding from the New York Council on the Humanities, the occasion that has been bringing thousands to Rhinebeck for the past three years has expanded its reach in a unique way. The bicoastal festivities will start on Saturday, November 26 with a full afternoon of activities in the Rondout that will include music, food, merchant open houses and a parade to mark the arrival of Sinterklaas on the scene.
Kingston will then send off Sinterklaas on a tugboat across the Hudson River to his destination in Rhinecliff, commemorating the Dutch Sinterklaas’ annual sailing from Spain to Holland. This traditional start to the holiday season has been celebrated in the Netherlands for centuries. Reinvented to involve the community directly in creative activities, the celebration turns away from commercialized images of the holidays to concentrate on handmade, from-the-heart participation.