jukeJointJonny2Above: Juke Joint Jonny brings the real-deal folk blues to a season-ending Steamy Night at the Woman’s Club…while below, the real live author Dave Cicirelli brings his FAKEBOOK saga home to the M’town Library.  (click to enlarge)

Friday, November 29:

RED BANK: Black Friday is many things to many folks — but here in the area’s capital of Christmas and holiday hootenannies, it’s all about the Friday Night Lights, as the wondrous Wall of Sound that is Holiday Express flips the switch on a new season of events, activities and jinglebell commerce in downtown Red Bank. The annual free outdoor concert commences at 7 pm at Broad and Canal streets; take it here for our feature story with the details on tonight’s festivities (including the return run of the Santa Express train).DaveCicirelli-500x323

RED BANK: If the Town Lighting crowds aren’t your scene, habitual stay-at-homes can be both housebound and social — during the final installment of 2013 for Reckless Steamy Nights, the monthly series of intimate house party concerts presented by the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation inside the Woman’s Club of Red Bank (a.k.a. the old Anthony Reckless estate, Broad Street between Reckless and Leroy Place). Tonight between the hours of 8:30 and 11 pm, the JSJBF sends you out into the bracing chill of the holiday season, with warm fuzzy feelings kindled by Juke Joint Jonny, the Newark-native specialist in acoustic folk blues whose whiskey-stinging/ whiskey-smooth style can make an inviting roadhouse out of the most stately old manor. It’s a special “Dennis’ 60th Birthday Party,” and it’s BYOB, with a $10 donation requested at the door (proceeds benefit the JSJBF scholarship programs); call (732)933-1984 for more info.

rockit3019_11-28-10_600x400The kids of ROCKIT’s classic rock conservatory take a Floydian trip to the DARK SIDE, during a Matinee-on-the-Blighty afternoon at the Basie. (photo by Glen DiCrocco; click to enlarge)

Saturday, November 30:

RED BANK: Keep it at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank between noon and 6 pm, as the historic home hosts a “Black Saturday Holiday Bazaar” event with the accent on owners and operators of small businesses. Pitched as “a day of shopping, hair and beauty,” the event is organized by author-educator (and former proprietor of Red Bank’s Frank Talk Art Bistro) Gilda Rogers, with Candace Kelley of Curl Prep Natural Solutions. In addition to strolling the vendor tables of jewelry, accessories and body products, shoppers can take part in workshops on “Curly Girls Hair” (with Curl Whisperer Tameeka McNeil-Johnson); scalp conditioning (with wellness expert Ahava Felicidad), and soap making (with Jennifer Salters of Naturally Unique Creations), for a $5 charge. Special guest Lisa Shepard-Stewart, who’s been featured on HGTV, will present a holiday crafts class. Take it here to reserve seating for the workshops.

MIDDLETOWN: It’s a homecoming (of sorts) for Dave Cicirelli, the River Plaza native whose recently published memoir Fakebook: A True Story. Based on Actual Lies is the story of “a faux adventure” and elaborate social media hoax that had its perpetrator fighting rabid coyotes, being abducted by a cult, and held captive in Amish country. The Real Dave brings his double-life story to Middletown Township Public Library at 2 pm; take it here for a full length interview with the first-time author here on redbankgreen.

Sunday, December 1:

MIDDLETOWN: Who says the only fresh air to be taken after Black Friday has to happen as part of a shopping excursion? Continuing a late-autumn tradition along the ever-picturesque Navesink, the  Jersey Shore Running Club (in partnership with the Middletown Youth Athletic Association) hosts the 13th annual Navesink Challenge, with two events (a 15k run and a 5k run/walk) starting at 8:30 am and finishing on the wooded paths of Bodman Park, off Navesink River Road. It’s $30 to register in advance online, or between 1 to 4 pm on Saturday 11/30 at Road Runner Sports in Shrewsbury — or register for $40 at the event on Sunday. There are prize drawings, too, with all proceeds benefitting the programs of the MYAA; take it here for complete details and online sign-up.

RED BANK: Honest, you don’t have to be a family member of the onstage talent to enjoy a performance of Rockit Live, the classic-rock conservatory for kids in residence at the Count Basie Theatre. Bruce Gallipani’s students in the Basie-affiliated program have displayed chops good enough to jam with national touring acts on the Basie boards, and when the class of 2013 returns for the latest in a series of seasonal showcase concerts, they’ll be doing a “lip to label” recreation of the 1973 Pink Floyd epic Dark Side of the Moon — as well as a tribute to such Brit-born rockers as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Traffic, Cream, Elvis Costello, Oasis and more. Tickets for the 3 pm matinee ($15) can be reserved right here.

NAVESINK: If it’s atmosphere you’re looking for — and perhaps a little oasis of civilization, away from the stripmall strafe of the holiday shopping crunch — you could do no better than All Saints’ Memorial, the historic “Old Stone Church” that’s celebrating its 150th anniversary in the autumn of 2013. Beginning at 4 pm and continuing past twilight time, the church at the crossroads of Navesink and Monmouth Avenues hosts the chamber-music group known as the Elysian Ensemble, in a Candlelight Concert that continues a 33 year tradition. The program — including “Elegiac Trio” for flute, cello and harp; “Herbsttag” for flute, cello and harp, and “Hamabdil” for cello and harp — is followed by ” a savory and festive reception,” with $25 tickets for performance and reception available online, or by calling (732)291-0214.