First port of call for Sinterklaas
According to Dutch tradition, it was from Spain that Sinterklaas/St. Nicholas set out on his voyage to the Netherlands to stuff the klompen of well-behaved children with coins, sweets and Valencia oranges on the eve of his feast day, December 6. Here in the Hudson Valley, the kindly bishop, patron saint of sailors and children, makes his landfall in Rhinecliff for our annual Sinterklaas celebration on December 1, but Spain is too far away. We have to make do with Kingston as his local first port of call.
That first phase of the Sinterklaas festivities, the Send-Off Parade down to the Rondout waterfront, happens on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, November 24. This year’s event will inaugurate a couple of new features: Right after the parade, at about 4:45 p.m. at T. R. Gallo Park on the Strand, Sinterklaas will culminate with a shadow puppet show by Liz Howlz, celebrating Kingston’s folklore maritime history. The installation will illustrate Kingston’s history from the early 1600s to the present day, with a live brass band accompanying the images.
Another addition to this year’s celebration is a special puppet, mask and music show by Arm-of-the-Sea Theater, presented at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. at the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s Boat Barn.
As usual, kids can prep for the parade by making props at the Crowns & Branches Workshop at the Maritime Museum Barn from noon to 3 p.m. At the Reher Center at 3 p.m., master storyteller Karen Pillsworth will share Hanukkah and Reher Bakery stories, cider and cookies. Free treats, lots of shopping discounts and pop-up exhibitions will lure visitors to lower Broadway businesses and galleries all day. There will be free trolley rides to Kingston Point, a hot chocolate bar and a Belgian waffle cart, cookie-decorating and lots more to do.
The Children’s Maritime Parade sets out at 4 p.m. from the intersection of Broadway and Garraghan Drive; this year’s “honored animal” is the butterfly.
Sinterklaas in Kingston
Saturday, Nov. 24
Lower Broadway/Rondout waterfront
Adventure Lab, Peter Rabbit puppet theater and great crafts at Olana
Want to do something besides stuff yourself this Thanksgiving weekend? Olana is offering plenty of things to do with your off-work self, out-of-school offspring or visiting family. From Friday through Sunday, you can take a guided house tour or downloadable landscape tour; check out a new sculpture installation by Jesús Rafael Soto, Penetrable; or visit the Wander Society’s Adventure Lab installation, created by conceptual artist Keri Smith to pay homage to Isabel Church’s 19th-century tenting adventures abroad.
“The Wander Society is a secretive underground organization that believes in the intrinsic power of wandering to transcend the problems of modern society, access a higher plane of consciousness and participate in direct experiences of life,” reads the project description. “The Wander Society’s Adventure Lab is a mobile unit that functions as a secret portal into the operations and activities of the underground organization. Designed as a space to facilitate exploration, the lab is replete with various wandering tools, images, a random assignment machine and a wandering library. Designed for all ages; come explore the lab and make your own adventures.”
Special events in the Wagon House Education Center on Thanksgiving weekend include, on Friday, November 23, the Pumpernickel Puppets performing a Miniature Theater version of Peter Rabbit at 10 and 11:30 a.m., and a workshop in “The Art of Wrapping Paper” at 1 p.m.; Saturday classes are “Knitting 101: Start a Scarf” at 10 a.m. and “The Art of Henna” at 2 p.m. The Museum Store will host a book-signing of Julia Rosenbaum’s Frederic Church’s Olana at 1 p.m. on Friday and one of Hudson Talbott’s Picturing America at noon on Sunday.
To make reservations for any of the classes, call (518) 828-1872, extension 105. Adventure Lab is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free.
Olana holiday activities
Friday-Sunday, Nov. 23-25
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Olana State Historic Site
5720 State Route 9G
(518) 828-1872, ext. 103
A Charlie Brown Christmas at Civic Center on Tuesday
The Mid-Hudson Civic Center presents an all-new touring production of A Charlie Brown Christmas live onstage on Tuesday, November 27. Featuring great songs and one of the most beloved of all modern Christmas stories, A Charlie Brown Christmas features Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the familiar Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the season. Tickets can be purchased at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center box office or via Ticketmaster.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m.
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
14 Civic Center Plaza