kaboom-preview-2008The annual KaBoom!  fundraiser culminated in a fireworks preview outside the Monmouth Boat Club in 2008. This year’s edition will be at Hovnanian HQ.

Whether you love it — or leave town for the day because of it — the annual KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink event is one of “the fabulous events that make Red Bank and the Navesink River community the special place that it is,” says KaBoom! Committee chairman Tim Hogan.

As an attraction that draws some 150,000 gawkers and revelers to multiple sites along the riverfront, the July 3 sky-splash is surely the single biggest happening of the borough’s calendar year — one in which all of the more than $200,000 needed to produce KaBoomFest comes from private donations.

While the KaMittee’s underwriting vehicles have ranged from big-league corporate sponsorships to the less sophisticated (but no less effective) “Kick In for KaBoom Bucket,” it’s the annual springtime cocktail party that has traditionally fired the first signal flare in the Countdown to KaBoomsday — and on the evening of Thursday, April 28, the fuse will be lit for an intensive interlude of pyrotechnics, preparations, promotion, and the soliciting of those crucial private donations.

danny-murphyBring the fire: The one and only Danny Murphy is celebrated as the recipient of the first ever Prometheus Award, at the Countdown to KaBoom party on April 28.

A fixture for several seasons over at the Monmouth Boat Club, the fundraising campaign kickoff moves for its ninth annual edition to the headquarters of event co-sponsor Hovnanian Enterprises on the corner of West Front Street and Maple Avenue — not inside the corporate conference rooms, but under a tent on the rolling riverfront lawn.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., attendees will sample “a fun night of tastes from over a dozen Red Bank restaurants, a selection of pleasing libations, live music by Pam McCoy and Friendly Faces, a spectacular silent auction, plus a grand finale to the evening’s festivities” — the now-traditional display of pyrotechnical prowess by the fourth generation bottle-rocket scientists of Garden State Fireworks.

Having set the bar sky-high for all sky shows to follow, the KaBoom Committee plans another three-day festival of live concerts, family amusements and kid-friendly activities that commences in and around Marine Park on July 1. For the first-ever tent party fundraiser, Hogan and colleagues have assembled a smorgasbord of borough-based food and drink purveyors that include Basil T’s, The Bistro at Red Bank, Danny’s Steakhouse, Dish, Gaetano’s, Melting Pot, Red, Sugarush, Surf Taco, Temple Gourmet Chinese and The Windmill.

Also new this year is an honor called the Prometheus Award — named for the Greek mythological figure who brought mankind the gift of fire from the heavens (we’ll skip the part about the eagle and the liver here), and conferred upon one who has displayed “outstanding service and support to the community and to KaBoom Fireworks.” Announced as the inaugural recipient of the award is Danny Murphy, a pioneer on Red Bank’s restaurant scene and a dynamic entity about whom it’s said, “his public persona, his leadership, his never-ending passion and his love of fireworks have come together in support of KaBoom for over a decade.”

Tickets for the April 28 fundraiser event are $100 per person, and can be reserved here or by calling (732) 842-7337.