Sleepy Hollow's Philipsburg Manor Hosts Pinkster Events

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Dancing will be one of the highlights at the Discover Pinkster! Celebration at Philipsburg Manor.
Dancing will be one of the highlights at the Discover Pinkster! Celebration at Philipsburg Manor. Photo Credit: Brian Haeffele

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- The highlights for visitors to Discover Pinkster! will be dining on traditional African-American cuisine and enjoying music, dancing, and dramatic vignettes at Philipsburg Manor on Sunday, May 18, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Discover Pinkster!, which is sponsored by Con Edison, features dancing, drumming, African folktales, and cooking demonstrations. Musical performers include a roaming fiddler and a player of the kora, which is a traditional West African instrument.

African drumming and dance demonstrations will be led by Maxwell Kofi Donkor, a Ghanaian native and renowned drummer who is also an award-winning sculptor and art educator. Kofi has shared the stage with drummers such as Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead and Babatunde Olatunji and his Drums of Passion.

Other performance highlights include storytelling by April Armstrong and African colonial dance by Judith Samuel and the Children of Dahomey.

As in historic Pinkster celebrations, two “grand events” will mark the day. The first is the Pinkster Parade and the Game of Lies, beginning at 12:30 p.m. After this elaborate ceremony of matching wits, the community crowns the Pinkster King. Later in the afternoon, at 3 p.m., the Election takes place, which names the Pinkster Regent, who will be the king for the following year.

African-American cuisine prepared by local caterer Nikki Toi’s Soul Food will be available for purchase throughout the day.

“Pinkster” comes from the Dutch word for Pentecost and was originally a Dutch spring holiday that combined religious and secular traditions. But despite the holiday’s Dutch origins, Africans in New York and New Jersey were so successful at incorporating their own cultures into the celebration that by the early 1800s, Pinkster was considered an African-American holiday.

Admission is $14 for adults; $12 for seniors; $8 for children ages 3-17; and free for children younger than 3 and Historic Hudson Valley members. Philipsburg Manor is at 381 N. Broadway (Route 9).

For information and tickets, visit http://www.hudsonvalley.org or call 366-6900.

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