Sinterklaas in Rhinebeck
Rhinebeck is a picturesque village that lies in the Hudson Valley, about a gorgeous two-hour train ride north of New York City. The Hudson Valley has got a rich Dutch history that goes back 400 years when Dutch settlers moved up here. For the last 8 ish years, the village of Rhinebeck and the village of Kingston, which lies on the other side of the Hudson River, celebrate Sinterklaas to honour their Dutch heritage. Celebrations kick off the last Saturday in November in Kingston and end with more celebrations on the first Saturday of December when he goes across the Hudson to Rhinebeck. And that is what I came here to see.
The highlight of the day was the parade when Sinterklaas himself arrives in town, accompanied by his white, paper mache steed and loyal helper Grumpus. The three of them zigzaged through the main street, greeting the children on the sidewalks. The tail of the parade consisted of colourful paper mache dolls, bright shiny stars, massive string puppets, dancers and I even saw real life apacas.