Sinterklaas is Coming to Town Pt 2

After Sinterklaas and his entourage disappeared into the building, everyone and their grandmother was waiting for them to start their procession to Dam Square. For whatever reason it took them forever!
Thankfully, the weather took a turn for the better – from cloudy and gray, the sky cleared and the sun came out. It seems some Sinterklaas magic was in the air.

Everyone’s attention was focused on the street where the procession was passing through. Even with the long wait, the crowd was on its best behavior, especially the small children. Amazingly, I didn’t see or hear a single child out of line. An hour after he arrived, the parade to Dam Square finally started.

Sinterklaas does not have a reindeer-powered sleigh (no Rudolph!?). Similar to the White Wizard in The Lord of the Rings, he rides a beautiful, white steed. I’m told the actor playing Sinterklaas is Jeroen Krabbé, who’s acted in some Hollywood films. They really did a good job on his make-up.

I ended up acting like a paparazzo walking alongside him all the way to Dam Square. And I wasn’t the only one. When we reached the Dam, it was already a sea of people. And the moment he arrived, the music started playing and he had everyone’s rapt attention.
On the way to the stage he stopped to pay respects to an image of Saint Nicholas where one of the Black Petes was laying a wreath.

I left soon after as I couldn’t take the claustrophobia anymore. The crowd was so thick it was a pickpocket’s wet dream. It was tons of fun though, and I can imagine that kids really having a great time.
It’s not the first time I’d seen him and his Black Petes so the novelty and shock factor are long gone. It did take a lot of explaining from my partner the first time I did though. Given the frequent gray weather there’s apparently some local color to make up for it.

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