Parking Your Car for Sinterklaas in Rhinebeck Just Got Way Harder
If you're headed to Rhinebeck for this weekend's Sinterklaas celebration, you may want to take an Uber.
Sinterklaas is Rhinebeck's yearly holiday celebration that takes over the entire town with entertainers, music and holiday decorations. Based on Dutch traditions, Sinterklaas is a unique Christmas experience that is primarily aimed at children.
The entire event, including all activities, is completely free. Donations fund 100% of the entertainment and families from all over are invited to participate. The day is focused mostly on children who are invited to decorate their own tree branches and become a "king or queen" for the day.
Kids are entertained throughout the day by tightrope walkers, storytellers, jugglers, musicians and other unique performers scattered throughout the village. At nightfall a huge illuminated parade takes over the streets with over-sized puppets, floats and music.
The family event has become more and more popular each year, with upwards of 15,000 visitors descending upon Rhinebeck for the annual festival. The increasing crowds have made it a challenge to find parking in the Village, and this year it's going to be even worse.
Due to recent snowfall the Village of Rhinebeck, police have declared that there will not be any parking available at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. The Mulberry and Platt lots were supposed to be used to handle the overflow of visitors to the Village. Now, the only lots that will be available are at Northern Dutchess Hospital and Rhinebeck High School. There are also smaller lots open behind Starr Library and at the Highway Department.
If you think you'll just be able to park on one of the side streets in Rhinebeck, that's probably not the best plan. Many streets will be designated as "no parking" zones all day on Saturday. The municipal parking lot will also close at 2pm to make room for staging of the parade. While there will be some parking available, expect those spots to be taken very early in the day.
So, if you are traveling to Sinterklaas this weekend you should plan on doing lots of walking. But checking out all of the activities around town is part of the fun anyway, right? More information on the parking situation is available on the Sinterklaas website. Just one warning; as of Wednesday, the Fairgrounds lot was still listed as a parking option, so you may want to double check to make sure the information on the site is accurate and up to date.