Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Health and Wellness

Red Bank YMCA

At the heart of the Red Bank community since 1874, our Red Bank Family YMCA is here to support health and well-being for all. We’re a special place where people of all ages, interests and backgrounds gather to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

FOOD FEST GETS DIBS OVER JAZZ & BLUES FEST

img_63997272A food vendor hawks his wares at the 2009 edition of the Jazz & Blues Fest. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

After a long absence, Riverfest will return to Red Bank’s Marine Park in 2011.

But securing the date required backers to first elbow aside Riverfest’s successor: the ersatz Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival.

On a night when the Red Bank Council was courted like the prettiest girl in class, the food-heavy fest won a sudden competition to take over the waterfront park the coveted first weekend in June.

The Jazz & Blues Festival, which took its show south to Monmouth Park this year because of construction here and renamed itself the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival, is still welcome back, officials said. But not between June 3 and 5.

Council members, facing competing requests from the two festivals, spent a good portion of Monday night’s meeting chewing over how to handle its out-of-the-blue conundrum.

The request from the Jazz & Blues fest was delivered to borough hall yesterday, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“We have an obligation to the public body to consider them both,” he said.

But the council, after weighing the pros and cons of each event, ultimately decided that the first weekend in June will go to Riverfest, which was a summertime staple for two decades before Jazz & Blues took over in the early 1990s. Some said Riverfest will do a better job of promoting local businesses and keep costs down.

“Our merchants come first,” Council President Art Murphy III said. “I’d like to see it come back that way. It needs to be affordable, because it’s not.”

Menna countered Murphy, saying that both events have their own role in the borough’s history, and deserve to be heard by the council. But nobody from Jazz & Blues was at Monday’s meeting to make a case why it should take its spot on the calendar.

Danny Murphy, who helped establish Riverfest, was.

“It was family-oriented. It was a Red Bank event,” he said of the original event. Now, he said, the music festival features “fast-type food. It’s vendors. It’s carny-type food. It’s not what the festival originally set out to be.

“The bottom line for this is we want our festival back,” he said.

Still, there’s a possibility that Red Bank can have its funnel cake and eat it too.

The council, which unanimously voted to accept Riverfest’s request, did so with the caveat that it will accept another request from Jazz & Blues to hold its event on a different weekend.

“It doesn’t discard them from coming back to Red Bank,” Art Murphy said. “There’s plenty of other weekends open between now and Labor Day.”

Dennis Eschbach, the music festival’s chief organizer, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday night.

Danny Murphy said planning for Riverfest will begin in earnest, although some groundwork has already been laid. He said the festival, to be sponsored by the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, will showcase borough restaurants and local musical acts, and for less of a cost than some of the larger acts that Jazz & Blues enlists. The vaunted musician/restaurateur Tim McLoone, he said, agreed to help provide some of the music for the three-day event.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Murphy said to the council, “and I promise you, you’ll have a great festival.”

The request must next go before the borough’s special events committee. The council, however, has final say.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...
RED BANK: PROMISING PROMS
RED BANK: Prom season approaches, and Lunch Break once again steps up with its 8th annual Prom Giveaway of donated dresses.
RED BANK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
RED BANK: Partyline contributor Karly Swaim captured a gloomy mood in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening.
[GIF] FRIDAY NIGHT SLEDDING DOWN TOWER HILL
Tower Hill was in the right condition for sledding on Friday night, and with forecasted highs to stay below freezing temperature for the wee ...