Pinkster Festival

May 20, 2023
29 Warburton Ave. Yonkers, NY 10701

Pinkster Festival

Saturday, May 20, 2023

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

FREE, everyone invited

Celebrate spring and culture at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site! Pinkster is the Dutch name for Pentecost, a religious holiday and celebration of spring where people took time to travel and visit family. In the New Netherland Colony, Pinkster was transformed into a unique Afro-Dutch celebration - a week of temporary freedom for enslaved people. Able to travel, earn money, and gather in groups, Pinkster allowed enslaved people to take a break from their endless work, see separated family members, preserve and pass on culture to the next generation, and resist enslavement.

Today, we celebrate Pinkster much like they did in the past – with African music and dance, games and children’s activities, vendors, and food and drink. And just like in the past, people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds are welcome to celebrate this unique Afro-Dutch festival and learn about Our Whole History.

Learn More About Pinkster

Lots to do a Philipse Manor Hall's Pinkster Festival! Live music and performances with The Pinkster Players and Carla & Keyes, storytelling, lectures, kids' games and activities all day long, plus free self-guided tours of the museum.

Front Lawn Tent:

  • 10:30 AM - Pinkster Musicians Jam - musicians of The Pinkster Players start of the festival with a jam session.
  • 11:00 AM - "The Story of Pinkster" - The Pinkster Players perform this sketch live and in costume.
  • 12:00 PM - "Colonial Crossroads" - Carla & Keyes explain and perform historic music from the colonial period, with a special emphasis on the music of Pinkster.
  • 1:00 PM - Pinkster Musicians Jam
  • 2:00 PM - "Colonial Crossroads"
  • 3:30 PM - "The Story of Pinkster"
  • 4:00 PM - Ommegang Parade - The Pinkster Players lead everyone in a parade around the site to close the festival.

Back Lawn Kids' Activities:

  • FREE games available all day including mancala, graces, quoits, ninepins, and more.
  • 11:30 AM - Jousting Tournament - ringesteken was a Dutch game strongly associated with Pinkster. Riders on horseback would use a lance to try to spear a small wooden ring. We're using hobby horses!
  • 12:00 PM - Fur Trade Game (museum second floor)
  • 12:30 PM - Cup & Ball Tournament - the historic cup & ball game is one of practice and skill. Can you make it to the top in this head-to-head tournament? 
  • 1:00 PM - Jousting Tournament
  • 1:30 PM - Fur Trade Game (museum second floor)
  • 2:00 PM - Cup & Ball Tournament
  • 2:30 PM - Jousting Tournament
  • 3:00 PM - Fur Trade Game (museum second floor)

Gothic Chamber (2nd Floor of Museum):

  • 11:30 AM - "The Importance of Pinkster" - Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site Manager Michael Lord discusses the history of Pinkster and its importance both in the past and today.
  • 12:30 PM - Reading of "A Pinkster Ode" - Published in 1803, “A Pinkster Ode” is one of the best resources from the period to understand Pinkster. Join our various performers - and you! - as we take turns reading stanzas of this fascinating and important poem.
  • 1:30 PM - "Pinkster Foods" - New York State Parks Interpreter of African American History Lavada Nahon discusses Pinkster’s food history, including the important role wild foods played in colonial springtime diets and African influences in colonial cooking and recipes.
  • 2:30 PM - Storytelling - Storyteller Marcha Tracey delights audiences of all ages with stories from African and early American folklore.


Special for the Pinkster Festival - admission to the museum is free all day! Tours are self-guided (no guided tours this day) and kids and adults are welcome to try our museum scavenger hunt! Explore our brand new exhibits with things to touch, smell, listen to, and watch.



Nonprofit & Retail Booths:


Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site's 2023 Pinkster Festival is sponsored in part by:

the Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Learn more.


There's lots to do on May 20th! Check out these other area events, including in Yonkers.


Pinkster at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site coincides with Yonkers Arts Weekend! Arts workshops, pop-up shows, galleries, and more will be taking place all over downtown Yonkers at the same time as Pinkster! For more information, schedule, and shuttle information, visit

Photograph of Sherwood House - a two story yellow Dutch style tenant house


The Yonkers Historical Society is hosting their annual Spring Flea Market on Saturday, May 20 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Sherwood House (a former Philipse tenant farmer house and home to YHS). Sherwood House is just a 15 minute drive from Philipse Manor Hall! All proceeds benefit the Yonkers Historical Society. Learn more.


Visit three historic Revolutionary War sites in Westchester County, where French troops camped during the final year of the war, and along the way listen to a free audio tour about the crucial French alliance with General George Washington and the Continental Army. Come learn about the French role in winning our war for independence, see their encampment sites, visit a historic tavern, meet Generals Rochambeau and Washington, tour a pop-up museum, and pet animals from the colonial period. Hosted by the Friends of Odell House Rochambeau Headquarters, in collaboration with the North Castle Historical Society and the Yorktown Heritage Preservation Commission Learn More.

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