By DANIELLE TEPPER
The Red Bank Public Library is preparing to welcome an unusually old guest this weekend: a disturbingly lifelike moving, breathing and roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex.
While the 15-foot-long puppet is a pipsqueak compared to the 42-foot beasts that roamed the Earth 65 million years ago, it is certainly enough to thrill the pants off the kids who will gather to see it up close Saturday.
The dino is visiting from Field Station: Dinosaurs in Secaucus, a 20-acre attraction dedicated to providing families with the thrill of encountering over 30 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs as they walk a three-quarter-mile wooded trail.
FS:D, which opened to the public Memorial Day weekend, includes the largest animatronic dinosaur ever made: an Argentinosaurus 90 feet long and visible from Manhattan, five miles away.
According to a New York Times article, park founder (and former managing director of Red Bank’s Two River Theater) Guy Gsell spent a year and a half exploring dinosaur shows around the country and abroad before settling on a team of artists and engineers who were able to give the creatures sensors and facial-recognition technology. This allows them to react when visitors get close and, as kids will find out Saturday, roar when a crowd yells at them.
To kick off its summer season (the park is only open weekends until June 21), one of its more popular performances, Dinosaur Troubadour and Mighty T-Rex, is going on a library tour in hopes of spreading dino fever.
Starting at 11 a.m., the troubadour will sing and read stories in the Avice Noblett Childrens Room of the library for approximately half an hour. From there, the show will move outside weather permitting to the front lawn, where children will be able to interact with the T-Rex and ask questions for the remainder of the hour.
The library has requested that the presentation be tamer than usual, as the program is offered for those aged three and up. Registration is free, but required.
Red Bank Public Library
84 West Front Street
Field Station: Dinosaurs
Laurel Hill Park
One Dinosaur Way
New County Road
Secaucus, NJ 07094