Red Bank’s official Christmas tree, a blue spruce donated by the Jennings family of Little Silver, was installed in Riverside Gardens Park over the past weekend. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lighting of the tree will be a low-key affair.

Traditional events, including the night-after-Thanksgiving Town Lighting and Holiday Express Concert, will not be held this year. Even a planned Friday lighting of the Christmas tree, with group photos of local officials, is being kept under wraps so observers don’t gather, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Laura Kirkpatrick told redbankgreen Wednesday.

Instead, the downtown promotion agency is encouraging visitors to ” shop local and shop small” in Red Bank, she said. (redbankgreen photo. Click to enlarge)