red bank, nj, holiday expressred bank, nj, holiday express, grinchSanta Claus, the Grinch and a dazzling light spectacle return to Red Bank Friday night for the 26th annual Holiday Express concert and downtown tree lighting

• The evening begins with the Santa Claus train ride on NJ Transit from Little Silver to Red Bank. Families can join Santa on the train in Little Silver or meet him at the Red Bank train station when he arrives.

There’ll be festivities before and after the train arrives, with holiday dancers and the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch. Once in Red Bank, Santa will board a firetruck and lead the parade to Broad Street for the Holiday Express Concert & Town Lighting.

•  Held at Broad and Canal streets, opposite St. James Church, the concert, scheduled for 7 p.m., delivers a massive dose of holiday cheer in the form of holiday favorites performed by bandleader Tim McLoone and his merry elves. The the youth band of the Monmouth Conservatory will open the show.

At the high point of the show, lights trimming trees throughout the downtown, plus the official Christmas Tree in Riverside Gardens Park, will be illuminated at the flick of a switch to power up the holiday season.

The Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand throughout, serving free hot chocolate, and parking is free throughout town.