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KABOOMERS MULL TWO-DAY FEST

kaboom-riversideLive entertainment at Riverside Gardens and Marine parks is already a staple of the annual fireworks show. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The KaBoom brand may be expanding in Red Bank.

Although the move isn’t yet official, officials are slipping the name Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink under the umbrella of KaBoomfest! in order to fit in with a plan to make the show a two-day event this year.

KaBoom! committee member Charles Moran told redbankgreen Tuesday that the committee is seeking local approvals to add a day-long an evening concert and festival to the Independence Day weekend.

The fireworks will, as usual, be held on July 3. On July 2, Moran says local bands will play as part of KaBoom! Rock The River, from 6 to 10p.

“We’re still putting it together,” Moran said.

It doesn’t seem there should be any worries about the increased cost to put on the event, either.

“We are also prepared to cover any extra costs the borough incurs with this added event including police overtime expenses,” Moran said in an e-mail.

In the meantime, locals can get an inside look into how the pyrotechnics orgy is put together.

Chris and Augie Santore, who are in their fifth year coordinating the display for the family-owned Garden State Fireworks, will put on a presentation next week at the Count Basie Theatre that includes a DVD screening of last year’s fireworks, a Q&A session and, at the end, a surprise that’s sure to be an eye-opener.

In essence, it will give the layman an in-depth perspective how the 20-minute extravaganza comes together each year. According to Chris Santore, it’s a lot.

He starts planning the show when most of America is propping up Christmas trees and spends hundreds of hours picking out music and fireworks, editing sequences on a computer and choreographing a show that he admits he is obsessive about.

“The ball starts rolling sometime in December the year prior,” Santore said, “then it’s straight through ’til July.”

As he explained it to redbankgreen while rattling off references to time codes, apexes and mortars, attendees are sure to come away from the presentation with an above-average knowledge of fireworks.

Which is Santore’s goal.

“We’re sort of like the unknown performers. We don’t really get a chance to interact with (the audience),” he said.

If nothing else, people will be able to see the level of passion the Santores have for their work, which they and their company take all over the country. In addition to putting on Red Bank’s fireworks — one of the largest on the East Coast — they are responsible for displays in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California and Colorado, to name a few.

And for each, Santore has his hands on the music selection and choreography, a sort of voluntary punishment, he said. Most towns send in music and tell Santore to fit in fireworks, but that would be too easy, he said.

“The marriage of music and fireworks is pivotal so the audience knows there was a relationship,” he said.”We try and tell a story, we try to be dramatic and have a shift throughout that 18 to 23 minutes. It’s as interesting for us as it is for the audience.”

If you’re interested in catching the presentation, which is 7:30p on March 31, time is running out. Tickets are free and available here. Moran said about 1,300 tickets have been reserved, so there’s only a couple hundred left.

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