RED BANK: BACK ON THE BLOCK

Block PartyThe Red Bank Community Block Party returns for the annual West Side neighborhood reunion with a slate of events that include a Friday night preview and a Saturday night after-party.

As reported here on redbankgreen, it started as a get-together among a group of longtime Red Bank friends – West Side friends, specifically – who wanted to see each other in a happier sort of setting than just the occasional funeral.

Five years on, the Red Bank Community Block Party has grown from a best-kept-secret affair to one of the most anticipated hometown events of the summer months. And, when the party gets going this weekend, it will extend not only beyond its staked-out block of Drs. James Parker Boulevard, but even beyond the borders of a single Saturday.

Formerly known as the Red Bank Family Reunion Block Party, the open-to-all August 2 event is keynoted with a Friday night Meet and Greet Pre-Party that takes place from 9 pm at Bates Lodge No. 220 (306 Shrewsbury Avenue). Touted as a chance to “meet, mingle, shake hands, shake what you got, or just relax with old and new friends,” the informal get-together is a prelude to the happening that’s described as Red Bank’s favorite “celebration of good times and more.”

Those early birds who didn’t pre-party into the wee hours can drop in at Lunch Break between 8 and 9:30 am Saturday for a bring-your-own-bag clothing giveaway that’s followed at 10 am by a hot breakfast served up by the United Methodist Church of Red Bank. Then at noon, the block of Drs. Parker between Shrewsbury and Bridge Avenues is closed off until 9 pm, for a party that boasts food and merchandise vendors, live music, kiddie rides, plus a selection of guest speakers and presentation of $500 scholarship awards to two Red Bank Regional High School students, Jazmiera Smothers and Sara Halloran.

Things keep cooking past 9 pm, as the nearby Celestial Lodge No. 36 (141 Drs. James Parker Boulevard) hosts an after-party that continues on until 1 am. Tickets for the Saturday after-party at the Masonic hall are priced at $10 per person, and can be reserved by calling (732)922-2921, or emailing rbcommunitybp@gmail.com. More information on Friday’s pre-party event at the Elks lodge can be had by calling (732)822-5135, or (732)922-2921.

A rain date of Saturday, August 9 has been announced in case of heavy weather. Check the event’s Facebook page for updates.

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