From star-kissed surf and free-range country to plein-air pickin’ and fresh-air film, the season of outdoor diversions remains very much in effect on the Greater Red Bank Green. We’ve got the roundup of public-welcome events under the summer sky — and over the next seven days and nights — all of them free as a breeze.
It all starts tonight, weather permitting, with the latest installment of the Summer 2017 Movies in Riverside Gardens Park series, sponsored by Red Bank Parks and Recreation and brought to you by Shore Flicks.
Continuing a run of recent animated family-friendly favorites, Minions takes to the waterfront walkways and sculpted terraces of Riverside Gardens Park for the season’s penultimate offering in what’s widely regarded as the area’s finest outdoor movie experience. The hit spinoff of the Despicable Me franchise lights up the big inflatable screen around 8:30 p.m., with attendees encouraged to bring lawn chairs, beach blankets and nonperishable food items to be donated to Lunch Break and other local charities. Follow Shore Flicks on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on weather-related cancellations or other schedule changes — and take it back down to the Riverside on August 22 for the finale to the 2017 schedule, a free screening of the animated monster party Hotel Transylvania.
And here’s a reminder to check back with Shore Flicks for updates on a pair of free film screening events on the Sea Bright municipal beach (A League of Their Own and Moana), both of which were postponed to possible post-Labor Day dates from their original August arrangements.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 6-9 p.m.: After 17 years of filling downtown Red Bank’s Saturday nights with musical surprises, the Red Bank Street Life series brought its eclectic mix of musicians and variety-act entertainers to town for select Thursday evenings this summer — and on August 17, the business-district buskers will take to the borough’s sidewalks, storefronts, blacktops and “bumpouts” for the series’ final weeknight edition of 2017. It’s brought to you by the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter, so check their website for details on Thursday’s featured performers and locations — as well as info on this Saturday’s regularly scheduled Street Life session.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 7 p.m.: The free Jazz in the Park events at Riverside Gardens have made for an especially friendly setting for big-band organizations — and this Thursday the series brought to you by Red Bank Parks and Rec (and programmed by borough-based Jazz Arts Project) provides ample coverage on the waterfront, courtesy of G-Clef and His Infamous Jazz Orchestra. As always, attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn-top seating — and get weather-related updates by checking the Parks and Rec Facebook page. The 2017 schedule walks it home on August 24 with the Latin Jazz Explosion big band, led by pianist Oscar Perez.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 7:30 p.m.: They dress like East Coast-style wiseguys — and they drill their way through West Coast-style classic surf rock hits like “Wipe Out,” “California Sun” and “Miserlou.” But The Sharkskins are no gang of greaser gremmies, and when the band “from the murky depths of the Delaware River” closes out the 2017 Fair Haven Dock Concerts this Thursday evening, they’ll be transforming the borough’s Municipal Dock (at the north end of Fair Haven Road) into a perfect party topper to the summer season. Call (732)747-0241 x216 for weather updates and details.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 20, 1-4 p.m.: In its last scheduled open-air jam session of the season, the Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Association of New Jersey (BOTMA) hosts Pickin’ in the Park, going on at various locales around Lincroft’s Thompson Park. It’s a leisurely paced (even if lightning-fast in the pickin’ department), completely informal and all-welcome affair for which attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic lunch — and in the event of cloudburst or drizzle the musicians can often be found gathering in the gazebo, located just west of the main parking area (itself accessible by the driveway at 805 Newman Springs Road). Contact the Park System at (732)842-4000, ext. 4312 — and join the folks from BOTMA when they resume their monthly hootenannies in September, at Little Silver’s Embury United Methodist Church.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 7 p.m.: The series of free outdoor concerts presented by Middletown Township Education Association wraps up with an appearance by Freehold-based Jake’s Rockin’ Country Band, on the north lawn outside the Middletown Arts Center. Bring your own blanket or lawn chair, plus refreshments, for the show — and park your car at the municipal lot across the street (or come in via the NJ Transit train platform, just a few line-dancing steps from the MAC). In case of rain, the action moves indoors to the MAC auditorium; weather-related updates and other info can be had by calling (732)706-4100.