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Ron LevyPiano virtuoso Ron Levy (above) guests with the Monmouth Symphony in a season-capping event, Saturday night at the Count Basie. Up on Tower Hill, baritone Gerald Metz (below) is among the vocal artists teaming up in HEAVENLY HARMONY for the Monmouth Civic Chorus.

Gerald Metz

There are surely worse dilemmas to be had in this world; more difficult choices to be made. But for local lovers of the classical repertory, this weekend poses quite the pickle, with two Red Bank venues hosting must-see events presented by a couple of the best-loved borough-based performing arts organizations.

It begins up on Tower Hill this Friday, when the Monmouth Civic Chorus continues its current season at First Presbyterian Church with a display of Heavenly Harmony that draws from the “visionary and triumphant” work of some choral music masters.

Then, on Saturday, down on Monmouth Street, the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra concludes another successful season at the Count Basie Theatre with an eclectic concert highlighted by an audience favorite that’s been called the ultimate musical marital aid and audio aphrodisiac. Read More »


anderson menna 050115Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, at last year’s inaugural Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball. The fundraiser returns to the Oyster Point Hotel on Friday as one of several benefit events around the borough this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The month of May flowers into full effect with more than just greenery and colorful scenery — it’s also prime time for charity galas and other fundraising vehicles, dedicated to the benefit of some of our area’s hardest-working nonprofit organizations.

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   RBIFF 042714 80Sunny and cool temperatures are forecast for Sunday’s festival, held in Red Bank’s White Street parking lot. This year’s version will highlight the roster of Heineken-owned beers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RBIFF 042714 75

It’s being touted as the fifth annual edition — and if you don’t happen to have any memory of the previous four (possibly due to eat, drink and general merriment), it could be because what was once the “Red Bank International Flavour Festival” has returned, rebranded and bigger than ever, as the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest.

One of the more popular and successful seasonal attractions to pitch its tent in Red Bank within recent years, the family-friendly happening from promoter RUE Events commandeers the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday for an afternoon-and-evening that mixes many of the best-liked attributes of the old-time Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests.

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anderson menna 050115Mayor Pasquale Menna, right with Carol and John Anderson at the first Mayor’s Ball, in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee 

Mayor Pasquale Menna will be the host — and former Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr. will serve as master of ceremonies — when the Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball returns to The Oyster Point Hotel for its second annual edition on Friday, May 6.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will honor retired public works supervisor and zoning board member Jesse Garrison (Humanitarian Award), the Count Basie Theatre (Cultural and Arts Award), the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department (Historical Legacy Award), Philip J. Bowers & Co. (Urban Development Award), and Riverview Medical Center (Manufacturing and Technology Award). Red Bank RiverCenter, the Special Improvement District founded in 1991, will be recognized as it marks its 25th Anniversary.

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wedding walk 032215 2Wedding Walk participants checking their itineraries during the 2015 edition of the annual event. Below, sidewalk markers indicate shopping routes. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE:  The concluding reception of this event is now scheduled for 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.]

wedding walk 032215 4For prospective brides and grooms (and brides and brides, and grooms and grooms), it’s the most significant set of steps this side of that “walk down the aisle” — the annual Red Bank Wedding Walk, the 2016 edition of which renews its vows on Sunday.

Showcasing the products and services of more than 40 area businesses, it’s a real-world, real-time stroll through all the borough has to offer committed couples, from dress shops, confectioners and florists to salons, jewelers and photographers. And Red Bank, as befits its status as a “one-stop shopping destination,” is ready once again for its close-up on the first day of Spring, 2016.

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the wag 062114StreetLife veteran act the Wag performing on Broad Street in 2014.

Press release from Red Bank RiverCenter

Street Life vertIn an annual call for talent, Red Bank RiverCenter is seeking experienced street performers — musicians, magicians, and other entertainers — to entertain downtown Red Bank this summer.

Entertainers will be selected through open auditions and presented through RiverCenter’s popular StreetLife program, now in its 16th year. Interested artists are invited to take part in auditions beginning 6 pm on Thursday, March 10, at the Count Basie Rehearsal Studio (99 Monmouth Street, 2nd Floor) in Red Bank.

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112914 horseride3Why go buggy navigating the malls, when you can enjoy Red Bank from an old-fashioned horse and carriage?

As surely as Black Friday nips at the heels of Thanksgiving Thursday, so too does Small Business Saturday get an electrified head start with the first flash of Friday night’s Town Lighting extravaganza in downtown Red Bank.

And when the shop-local showcase promotion returns Saturday, it will herald a day of special holiday-themed features that continue every weekend through December 20 — a slate of Santa sightings, scavenger hunts, horsey rides, harmonizing performers, mobile mannequins and more; all designed to enhance the hustle and bustle of the shopping experience here in the business blocks of the area’s undisputed Capital of Christmastime.

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girls night outGirls of most ages are invited to gather in downtown Red Bank this Thursday for the latest in a series of Girls Night Out events designed to spotlight the town’s most engaging shops and eateries. (Photo by Susan Ericson)

It happens but twice each year in Red Bank — and it happens for the final time here in 2015, when on Thursday, October 15, more than 40 borough-based restaurants, retailers, entertainment venues and service businesses invite women from all around the greater Green to the latest in an ongoing series of Girls Night Out events.

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oysterfest 2012 1The Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street lot in Red Bank Sunday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb oysterfest 3 092312Consider the oyster: a fabled food-of-love aphrodisiac to many, and a must-to-avoid mollusk to others. A naturally nurturing jewel-box to hunters of precious pearls, and mere hapless-prey packaging to the otter, The Walrus and The Carpenter.

But whether you shuck ’em or shun ’em, there’s no doubting that the briny bivalve has a certain star-quality luster as the centerpiece of some increasingly popular post-Labor Day events — particularly when paired with the “Irish aphrodisiac” known as —Guinness. And here on the banks of the Navesink, the coming of autumn signals the oyster’s turn to shine as the featured attraction of the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival, the sixth annual edition of which returns to the White Street municipal parking lot Sunday. Read More »


Press release from Monmoth County Arts Council

8cb44e05-02fd-413a-903f-4acfa7b97e7dFor its annual Celebration of the Arts fundraiser, the Red Bank-based Monmouth County Arts Council celebrates the recently established MoCo Arts Corridor initiative — and honors a trio of dedicated individuals from around the greater Red Bank Green — in an event presented under the banner “The Arts Mean Business.”

Scheduled for Friday, October 23 at Edgewater Beach & Cabana Club in Sea Bright, the 7-10 pm occasion features a silent auction, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and buffet dinner, all enhanced by performances and exhibits spotlighting the work of several Monmouth County artists — and all dedicated to the ongoing support of such MCAC programs as the Teen Arts Festival, ArtHelps, and the Arts Education Awards.

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dog days 072215 1All Dogs Go to Hollywood  as Red Bank RiverCenter presents the latest of its canine-friendly Dog Days events Tuesday evening.

RB DOG DAYS 073013 6At a time of year when Hollywood separates its summer blockbusters from its disappointing box-office dogs, the Tinseltown-canine connection is being celebrated in style on the streets of Red Bank, as the latest in the summer series of Dog Days promotions returns on Tuesday evening.

Hosted once again by Red Bank RiverCenter and the Borough of Red Bank, the 6-to-9 p.m. event is presented under the theme All Dogs Go to Hollywood, with a strolling array of dog-focused vendors, pup-positive downtown businesses and informational displays given a red-carpet twist: guest-star canines (and their human personal assistants) are invited to dress up and walk that carpet for a free photo op worthy of a big-time movie premiere, fun props included.

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rb sidewalk sale 3 072713Boxed bargains, folding-table finds and street-rack “steals” abound as the Sidewalk Sales returns to Red Bank this weekend for the 61st year.

rb sidewalk sale 8 072713It was a “diamond anniversary” event for which the Red Bank business community did it up grand – complete with a “pop-up museum” of historical memorabilia and a special “1950s fun” edition of the weekly StreetLife musical mashup. But how does “a cool little town” follow up a milestone like 2014’s 60th annual session of summertime Sidewalk Sale?

By forging ahead with the 61st annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, of course. Beginning today and running through late Sunday afternoon, one of the most firmly established community traditions enters its seventh decade as an all-welcome draw in those often lazy-hazy days of summer – not to mention a much-appreciated cornerstone of continuity, in an ever-evolving town that often transitions at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals can process.

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Motor CityLayonne Holmes (right) and the Motor City Revue roar into Sandy Hook as the up-next act in the summer beach concert series. Weather permitting, Tuesday night marks the twice-scheduled debut of Red Bank’s Dog Days of Summer.

rb dogs 061714 6[UPDATE, July 20, 2 p.m. Once again, the Dog Days event is being postponed, this time because of high temperatures, RiverCenter announced. The event is tentatively scheduled to be held Wednesday, July 22, at 6 p.m.]

Gripe all you will about summer traffic, summer crowds, summer expenses: the season for warm-weather diversion can seem especially fleeting when viewed through the frosted panes of our extended polar-vortex winters. And between Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon, we’ve got a whole range of excuses for getting out of the house, beginning with the latest in the 2015 series of Red Bank Dog Days of Summer .

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BoondocksBoondocks Fishery at Marine Park is just one of nearly 30 stops on and off the beaten path as the Food and Wine Walk events return for a new season. (Photo by Rachel Weston. Click to enlarge)

Calling all free-range foodies: the season for strolling smorgasbording and open-air culinary exploring is just now heating up, with the appearance of the first in 2015’s schedule of Red Bank Food and Wine Walks.


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