Giant puppets and elaborate costumes took over the streets of Rhinebeck on Saturday for the 2015 Sinterklaas Children's Starlight Parade.

Sinterklaas is a week of festivities celebrating the Hudson Valley's Dutch heritage. Children are transformed into kings and queens who bring light during the darkest time of year, according to the Sinterklaas website's description of the tradition. Sinterklaas is a benevolent figure in a red outfit, a bishop's hat and riding a white horse. He is derived from the 4th century historical figure Nicholas Sinterklaas, better known as St. Nicholas and the inspiration for Santa Claus.

The Hudson Valley Sinterklaas event features a full schedule of activities, but the largest are the parades in Kingston and Rhinebeck. On Saturday, Nov. 28, the Children's Maritime Parade down Broadway in Kingston sent off Sinterklaas and his white horse on a tugboat to head toward his destination across the river. On Saturday, Dec. 5 the Children's Starlight Parade brought Sinterklaas through Rhinebeck along with colorful artwork, volunteers carrying the large puppets and children and performers in costume.

Chuck Merrihew of Crash-N-Burn Event Pix captured these incredible photos from the event.