WEEKEND: BLUES, BOOKS AND SO MUCH MORE

Heavy-chops bluesman Matt O’Ree plugs in at Jamian’s in Red Bank tonight, and author Karen Schnitzspahn autographs her new book on the history of food at the Shore, below.

Friday, December 7
MIDDLETOWN: Each year, Poricy Park Nature Conservancy hosts a seasonal shop with the help of a volunteer staff. Entering its 25th season, the handcrafted holiday craft shop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 2. Items for sale include all homemade quilts, jewelry, ornaments, jams and jellies and more. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. 345 Oak Hill Road.

SHREWSBURY: At 11 a.m.m the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County library will host a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day observance featuring Tom Minton, who will discuss the activities that took place at Fort Hancock and around the Sandy Hook peninsula during World War II. Free admission. 1001 Rt. 35 North.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library by Amy Richardson at 1 p.m. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

LINCROFT: The Nilson Gallery at the Monmouth Museum will host an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. for its annual holiday gift gallery of handcrafted items, including jewelry, scarves, ceramics, home items and more from local artists. Music and refreshments will also be featured. The gift gallery is open during regular museum hours (Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.) through January 13. 765 Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: The Jersey shore’s own world-class blues guitarist, Matt O’Ree, visits Jamian’s Food & Drink for several Friday night sets slated for 8 p.m. 79 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: In the sixth annual edition of this Red Bank tradition, Sinatra’s Birthday Bash is presented by the Jazz Arts Project at the Count Basie Theater at 8 p.m. Featuring Joe Muccioli conducting a 17-piece orchestra, a selection of Frank’s greatest classics will be performed by a handpicked cast of New York and New Jersey’s finest saloon singers, including Red Bank’s own Kelly Ross. Tickets range from $25-10. 99 Monmouth Street.

Saturday, December 8
MIDDLETOWN: The American Association of University Women hosts a used book sale, which continues every Saturday (except holidays), in the basement of the Old First Church starting at 9 a.m. Thousands of bestsellers, children’s books, paperbacks, DVDs and more can be found at bargain prices. 69 Kings Highway.

RED BANK: Red Ginger Home will host a benefit open house for the weekend beginning at 10 a.m.. Ten percent of all sales will go directly to Home Free Animal Rescue and refreshments will be available. Be sure to mention Home Free while shopping. 48 Broad Street.

LITTLE SILVER: Little Silver author Karen Schnitzspahn visits Sickles Market with copies of her newest book, Jersey Shore Food History, available for purchase and signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Leeann Lavin of Atlantic Highlands will also be there with her new book, The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook. 1 Harrison Avenue.

RED BANK: The public library teams up with Two River Theater Company for a One Book, One Community event tied to TRTC’s new production of A Wind in the Willows Christmas. Children 5 and over can enjoy story-themed games, crafts, snacks and a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to the show. Registration is required for this free program, which kicks off at noon. Repeat performance Sunday at 12. 84 West Front Street.

RED BANK: Holiday Harmonies takes to the streets of downtown Red Bank every Saturday afternoon for three hours starting at noon throughout the shopping season to bring tunes ranging from traditional caroling to rock, blues, and folk to those out trying to find the perfect gift.

RED BANK: Rest those tired shopping feet with a free classic horse and carriage ride through downtown Red Bank. Rides run from 1 to 5 p.m. from two locations: 11 Bridge Avenue (across from The Galleria) and 26 Broad Street (in front of Murphy Style Grill).

RED BANK: The students of the Company of Dance Arts perform the Tchaikovsky ballet, The Nutcracker, for their 27th year with performances at 1 and 5 p.m. at Count Basie Theater.  Tickets for this “colorfully lavish production augmented by local professionals and guest soloists from major New York companies” are $15, $25, and $35. Repeat performance Sunday at 1. 99 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Bob Rosenbloom and James Arthur are featured in the monthly free poetry slam event at the Red Bank Public Library, which breathes its first at 2:30 p.m. Guest artists will be spotlighted, along with the famous River Read open mic.

RUMSON: Join Jim Willis, Joe Cotis, Jason LaViola, Jack Pyrah, Nash Aliaga and Shadowman as they jam to “the feelgood grooves” of The Grateful Dead at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn starting at 9 p.m. 132 East River Road.

Sunday, December 9
MIDDLETOWN: The main library will host Chorus of the Atlantic, a “four-part harmony holiday music concert in the old fashioned barbershop style” performed by an award-winning 30-member all male choral group at 2 p.m. Admission is free. 55 New Monmouth Road.

LINCROFT: Brookdale’s piano students showcase their talents in a free 5 p.m. recital at BCC’s Performing Arts Center. Followed by a performance of Puccini’s “Messa di Gloria” by the vocal ensemble at 7. Newman Springs Road.

RED BANK: Open mic with Rob Dye and Mike Ghegan at Jamian’s Food & Drink, 8 p.m. 79 Monmouth Street.