Sinterklaas rides again: Dutch Saint Nick visits Canarsie on horseback for museum’s holiday bash

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Photo gallery

Smells good: Asilakhon Melibava made a pomander — an orange covered with sweet-smelling herbs and spices — at the event.
December donuts: Zach Stein made fresh doughnuts at the Wyckoff House Museum’s Sinterklaas event.
Santa on a stallion: Sinterklaas rode in on Schimmel, his horse.
Naughty or nice: Youngsters wrote in the jolly man’s red book to note whether they were naughty or nice all year.

It’s a beloved holiday tradition, borrowed from the Dutch!

Brooklynites flocked to Canarsie’s Wyckoff House Museum on Saturday for the historical home’s annual Saint Nicholas Day bash, which organizers said honors the patron saint of children known as “Sinterklaas” to the Dutch, and celebrates the holiday traditions of Kings County’s early Dutch settlers.

“It gives people a taste of wider cultural influences,” said Melissa Branfman, the museum’s executive director.

Some 150 locals came out for the festivities, which the hosts based off of Christmas pastimes enjoyed by 17th-century Dutch immigrants to the borough, Branfman said.

Activities included crooning traditional old-timey holiday tunes with colonial balladeer Linda Russell, decorating traditional Dutch clogs called klompen, and snacking on Dutch donuts, known as oliebollen.

But the real fun began when Sinterklaas rode in on horseback, after which, youngsters got to feed carrots and hay to his trusty horse Schimmel.

And after the man of the hour stowed his steed, he read the kids a book about himself called “The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale,” before posing for pictures with them, and then letting the tots sign their names on the naughty and nice lists he keeps in his “red book.” (Spoiler alert: they all signed the “nice” list.)

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 9:30 am, December 6, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Hey there, Brooklyn Daily reader!

Yes, you’re in the right place — Brooklyn Paper is the new online home of

So bookmark this page, and remember check it throughout the day for the latest stories from your neighborhood — and across this great borough of ours.