Sinterklaas is coming to town Nov. 30What Ends later In Rhinebeck/But Soon Begins in Kingston? Crosses the Hudson in the Middle/And Solves This Holiday Riddle? Rhinebeck, N.Y. - On November 30th  the famed Sinterklaas Celebration that has drawn thousands to Rhinebeck is going Bi-coastal for the third year where Kingston experiences a little bit of its Dutch heritage.  In the story, Kingston will play the role of Spain as a procession of giant puppets, stars, fish, flags,  and the great Hudson River itself will travel down Broadway participating in the story of Sinterklaas' arrival in the Hudson Valley. The kick-off event will take place at The Old Dutch Church at the corner of Wall and Main Streets in Uptown Kingston on Thursday November 21 at 6pm for the Wreaths, Sweets & Dutch Treats, cocktail reception and silent auction. Fabulous food with a Dutch theme, beer, wine and signature cocktails will be served while attendees will have the opportunity to bid on decorated wreaths, trees, and gift baskets getting a jump start on the holiday season. A Night in Bloom Florist in the Shirt Factory at 77 Cornell Street will host a Crowns & Branches Workshop on November 23, 12-4pm because no Sinterklaas procession is complete without children of all ages accompanying Sinterklaas in his journey that day. They become the Kings and Queens with their handmade decorated crowns and royalty with their branches representing the Royal Scepter. Hundreds of handsome branches will be laid out alongside lots of beautiful and fanciful materials-jewels, ribbons, glitter, lace, streamers, -- with which the children can create their Royal garb! At the end of the day each child has something to carry in the Parade and to take home with them.  Additional workshops are being hosted by the Hudson River Maritime Museum Friday November 29 from 1 to 4pm and Saturday November 30 from 10am to 2:30pm  to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate. Then join the Celebration on Saturday, November 30 starting at 11am for a day of open houses in all the shops with music, food, arts, crafts and antiques.  Sinterklaas will make his appearance that day first at the Old Dutch Church in the morning, stopping in Midtown at the Spiegeltent site then heading down to the waterfront.  In addition to Sinterklaas, there will be a cast of characters roaming through Downtown that afternoon including the Pocket Lady (a fanciful dowager who allows children to pick little surprises from the pocket of her coat) and a group of Grumpuses, the wild men who guard Sinterklaas.  Open all afternoon and into the evening keeping their warm wood stove going will be the historic covered barge Pennsy 399 where the Parrots for Peace will take center stage.  The day culminates with a parade down lower Broadway where we will send Sinterklaas and his white horse off on a tugboat across the river to his destination in Rhinebeck where the celebration begins again on December 7th. As we move into the evening, there will be activities throughout the Rondout and special offers at restaurants with the lighting of the tree at dusk at the Downtown Visitors Center with a party afterwards on the Pennsy 399 Covered Barge with music by the Old Double E. Operating throughout the day from 11am to 7pm will be the Kingston Corridor Shuttle Bus taking passengers from Uptown, Midtown to Downtown and back. A $1 ticket for use of the shuttle for the entire day.  It will traverse the entire Corridor, 3 miles, from Washington Avenue to the Rondout via Front Street, Clinton, Albany Ave extension and Broadway in a continuous loop, with two busses running providing 15 minute service intervals. For more information or to volunteer for the Sinterklaas events, call 845-339-4280 or visit http://www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com/. Photo credit: Nancy Donskoj

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Calendar Listing and Schedule: November 21, 6-9pm Wreaths, Sweets & Dutch Treats Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction, Old Dutch Church, Wall and Main Streets, Uptown Kingston November 23, 12-4pm Crowns & Branches Workshop, A Night in Bloom Florist in the Shirt Factory, 77 Cornell St. November 29, 1-4pm Crowns & Branches Workshop, Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston,  (845) 338-0071 November 30, 10am-2:30pm, Crowns & Branches Workshop, Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston,  (845) 338-0071 November 30-Sinterklaas Kingston-Arrival Day :- A day of open houses, musical performances, workshops creating beautiful crowns and branches, a march down Broadway, a parade of stars, and puppets galore. Kingston sends off Sinterklaas and his white horse on a tugboat across the river to his destination there. After his send off, there will a Sinterklaas Soiree, Tree Lighting Ceremony and plenty of specials at all of the local restaurants. 11am to 6 pm- Arrival Day Schedule: 11:00am Old Dutch Church- Pastor Renee House kicks of the day with a Dutch Poem.  Bex Calder-Roper then tells the Dutch story of The Three Sisters, followed by The St. Joseph's School Choir with solo by opera singer Kerry Henderson.    Then the Maennerchor will sing and closing the program is an Indonesian Gamelan group that will parade down Broadway to the next stop in mid-town. 12:30pm- Mid-Town on the site of San Severina (Old Kings Inn) 615 Broadway -A Mariachi Band and Las Posadas Festivities. 11am-2pm- Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing- The Annual Mitten Tree Project - please donate new "warm & fuzzy" child-sized mittens, gloves, winter scarves and hats for children who wish to play outdoors at recess time and during after-school programs.  Items delivered to area children week of December 16 12pm-1:30pm- Trolley Museum, 89 East Strand- Puppet Making Workshop 12pm-1:30pm- On the Kingston Corridor Shuttle Bus-Buskers for Bread (music group) 12:30 - 2:30pm- Kingston Home Port and Education Center, 50 Rondout Landing- Face Painting by Patti Gibbons 1:30pm- Trolley Museum, 89 East Strand, Karen Pillsworth Storytelling 2pm-3pm- Karmabee 73a Broadway- Nan's Art Playshop for Kids & Grownups 2:00pm-Pennsy 399 Historic Covered Barge docked @ The Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing- Parrots for Peace 2:30pm- Mint, 1 W Strand -Sol Sonado Duet performing Renaissance and Baroque music. 2:30-3:30pm- TR Gallo Park- The Wayfinder Experience, arts and education program, will run team based sword games with play-safe foam weapons through imaginative play and storytelling which incorporates fun, atheistic games such as capture the flag and improvisational duels. 3pm- Pennsy 399 Historic Covered Barge docked @ The Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing- Grian McGregor Puppets 4:15pm- Broadway and Garraghan Drive- Children's Maritime Parade Kicks Off 5:00pm- Visitors' Center, 20 Broadway- Tree Lighting 5:30-7pm- Pennsy 399 Historic Covered Barge docked @ The Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing-Dance Party-Music by the Old Double E Open Houses: 10am-4pm The Steel House Restaurant at 100 Rondout Landing-Holiday Craft Fair 12pm-4pm - Milne's at Home Antiques at 81 Broadwaypresents freshly baked cookies available for the children to decorate under the watchful eye of Mrs. Sinterklaas.  12pm-4pm-The Storefront Gallery, 93 Broadway-Art Exhibit-The Honored Animal: The Fox 12pm-4pm- Pirate Upholstery, 25 Broadway- Ornament Making Workshop 12pm-4pm- TheGreenSpace, 73B Broadway- Open House serving free hot chocolate with marshmallows! 12pm-4pm- Vetere Real Estate, 37 Broadway- Open House serving Dutch Treats 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. What is the meaning of the Crowns and Branches that are made by and carried by the children in the Parade? Since St. Nicholas loved children so much, it makes sense on his name day that children, who at all other times of the year are the least authoritative people in society, are turned into the most powerful for just one day. Children are crowned kings and queens! The birch rod-the indispensable instrument of medieval education- is transformed by the power of imagination and art into a symbol of empowerment and love. The birch rod becomes the Royal Scepter, a symbol of creative power in the hands of today's children.

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Contact: Susan Linn 845-339-4280 Nancy Donskoj 845-338-8473