hottaters2 copyThe Hot Taters return to First Presbyterian Church on Tower Hill as part of the festivities for the annual Liberty Extravaganza and Strawberry Festival. 

It wasn’t so very long ago that July 3 packed an altogether different vibe than the relatively sleepy pre-holiday interlude we now get in Red Bank. But while the yearly KaBoom fireworks extravaganza last lit things up five years ago, up on Tower Hill, you’ll find another long-running holiday weekend tradition continues to make a glorious noise.

Now in its 28th annual edition,the First Presbyterian Church hosts the yearly Liberty Extravaganza and Strawberry Festival returns Sunday, offering up a selection of delectable homemade desserts and sweet, sweet American music.

The Strawberry Festival gets underway at 5 p.m. with a $5 pay-one-price charge for sampling the desserts. Meanwhile, in an encore engagement, Jersey’s own “jive, jump, wail” sextet the Hot Taters performs a free set of vintage jazz, Dixieland and New Orleans-style brass-band favorites.

The centerpiece of the event is the 7:30 p.m. concert of all-American patriotic marches, gospel hymns and popular singalong songs, performed by singers from First Presbyterian Church and the greater Red Bank community, joined by vocal soloists and a brass ensemble.

It’s a seasonal serving of such crowdpleasing corn-on-the-cob as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “God Bless America” on the stage that hosts the sacred and secular sounds of the year-round Tower Hill Concert Series. And while admission is free, an offering will be accepted to support the series.

The evening climaxes with a salute to America’s armed forces and the traditional raising of the church’s very grand old flag, a sight as exciting as the flashiest fireworks display.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. for the concert, with general seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Early arrival is recommended — and more information on Sunday’s Liberty Extravaganza (and other public-welcome events at Tower Hill Church) can be had by calling (732) 747-1348.