The annual Sinterklaas celebration will be taking place once again in the Village of Rhinebeck on Saturday December 3, 2016. There is a full day of children and family activities, culminating in the parade at 6PM. The festival began in a slightly different version of what it is today, to pay homage to the rich Dutch heritage of the Hudson Valley.

What is a Sinterklaas? According to the wikipedia definition:

Sinterklaas is a mythical figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins based on Saint Nicholas. Sinterklaas is celebrated annually with the giving of gifts on 5 December, the night before Saint Nicholas Day in the Northern Netherlands and on the morning of 6 December. He is the primary source of the popular Christmas icon of Santa Claus.

Sinterklaas is a 500 year old man with a long white beard. On the 5th of December it is his birthday and he gives away presents to little children in a sack. In one night he and his black slaves deliver them to all houses in the Netherlands and Belgium where little children live. The word and character Santa Claus has been based on 'Sinterklaas'.
Each year he comes from Spain on his big boat with all his slaves and heads for the Netherlands. While it really is just an actor that is payed to do all this.