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FIREWORKS PREVIEW: RUMSON

rumson-fireworks-signRumson’s fireworks will take place same time as Red Bank’s on July 3. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While hundreds of thousands rub elbows to get a view of the Independence Day fireworks in Red Bank Sunday, just a few miles east, there’ll be a more subdued, but pyrotechnically identical, affair going on in Rumson.

For the fourth straight year, the borough will host Rumson’s Fireworks on the Navesink, a duplication of Red Bank’s Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink that draws between 12,000 and 14,000 visitors along the eastern banks of the Navesink River.

The borough has put out information to all businesses and residents in advance of the show, warning of parking and traffic expectations, and where to catch the action.

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KABOOMFEST PAYS ITS DEBT TO RED BANK

kick-in-kaboomersKaBoom volunteers making their way through the crowd with donations pails at Riverside Gardens Park in 2009. That’s KaBoom chairman Charles Moran at left.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just a couple months before the 2011 edition of Red Bank’s fireworks show is set to blast off from the Navesink, the Kaboomfest committee has paid off the balance from last year’s display and is getting ready for a somewhat revamped show for Independence Day weekend.

This time, though, officials, citing what they believe is a more sustainable fundraising model, don’t anticipate carrying a balance owed to Red Bank into 2012.

“No, we don’t,” Kaboom Chairman Charles Moran told redbankgreen. “Our budget includes being able to pay Red Bank this year.”

Bringing on major corporate sponsors like Meridian Health (owner of Riverview Medical Center) and Wells Fargo, plus charging for premium views of the show, are among the top factors in being able to clear the ledger on time, Moran said.

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RUMSON FIREWORKS STILL UP IN THE AIR

A YouTube video of the fireworks in Rumson last year. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Now that Red Bank has decided to move forward with KaBoom ’11 with a couple of changes, leadership at the other end of the Navesink can start talking about its own fireworks show.

First question: Will there be one?

More than likely, said John Ekdahl, mayor of Rumson — which puts on a scaled-down replica of the same fireworks display Red Bank has, at half the cost and a fraction of the crowd. But a final decision won’t be made until the Rumson Endowment Fund Committee, which helps fund special events in the borough, meets in the middle of February, Ekdahl said.

Before that happens, though, officials want to meet with Kaboom! committee members to untangle the lines of communication between the two boroughs, Ekdahl said.

“We want get the scoop for Kaboom! as far as what they’re up to and whether or not they’re going to have it,” Ekdahl said.

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RUMSON GETS ITS FIREPOWER BACK

Rumson_fireworks3The Rumson fireworks, as seen from Victory Park in 2007. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the first time in its short life, Rumson’s annual fireworks display came close a to not happening along the affluent  banks of the Navesink River next month.

Donations for the Independence Day show, which are synced with Red Bank’s ginormous Kaboom! display, were about $30,000 short of the approximate $100,000 mark needed to cover the cost late last month.

That’s something that the borough, which boasts residents who call $1 million spare change, simply had no problem with in the last three years in putting on the pyro show, Mayor John Ekdahl said. But this year, the shortfall appeared to spell doom for the event, held near the Oceanic Bridge.

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