Search Results for: kaboom fireworks

RED BANK: MUSICAL FIREWORKS FOR THE 4TH

Conductor Sameer Patel, below, leads the New Jersey Symphony in an open-air display of musical Americana overlooking the Navesink River from Marine Park Sunday night. (Click to enlarge.)

It’s been five years now since Red Bank heralded the Independence Day holiday with a bang and a kaboom with the cancellation of its long fireworks-on-the-Navesink tradition. But as relatively quiet as things have been of late during the Fourth of July interlude, there’s celebratory music in the air.

This Sunday, two events — one of them a community happening of long standing, the other representing something new down by the riverside — bring the sound and the classic American spirit to the Greater Green.

That something new is a “Sunday in the Park” free performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Marine Park. Before that, the borough’s landmark Tower Hill Church celebrates flag and country with the 29th edition of the annual Liberty Extrvaganza.

Read More »

RED BANK: DO YOU MISS THE FIREWORKS?

In 2010, KaBoom became three-day event, increasings costs that were not matched by donations from viewers and sponsors. But it sure was fun. Here’s a replay of that year’s spectacle.

HOT-TOPIC_01It’s kind of a red-meat question, one that seems to come up at every backyard barbecue on the Greater Green this time of year: Is Red Bank better off without its longtime fireworks show?

By tradition, the borough’s Independence Day fireworks were held on July 3. The show, branded KaBoom in its last years, was billed as the fourth-largest Independence Day fireworks celebration in America in terms of the number and size of shells lofted into the sky above the Navesink River.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: A GIFT OF FIREWORKS

After a one-year absence, Independence Day pyrotechnics are expected to soar over the Sea Bright beach. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

This summer, Sea Brighters and visitors to the coastal town will once again be able to ring in Independence Day with a boom, thanks in part to the generous help of a Mercer County town.

The borough’s annual fireworks display is to be partly funded by the town of Robbinsville, which has “adopted” the storm-wracked borough and recently donated a used police car to the borough.

Originally to be funded solely by the Businesses of Sea Bright – formerly the Sea Bright Business Alliance –  the show is slated for Saturday, July 6.

Robbinsville is “offering to cover the lion’s share of the cost,” Mayor Dina Long announced at Tuesday night’s borough council meeting.

Read More »

CANCELED FIREWORKS: DO YOU CARE?

Crowds would pack West Front Street opposite Riverside Gardens Park every July 3 for a view of the annual pyrotechnics display. (Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

Tonight would have been the night.

The annual Red Bank fireworks show, a half-century-old tradition branded as Kaboom for most of the past decade, would have been lofted into the sky above the Navesink River tonight, as always on July 3.

But the event was canceled in February amid fundraising difficulties and security concerns.

redbankgreen took to the streets in recent days to see how locals feel about the change. A sampling of opinion is below.

What do you think about the fizzling of Kaboom? Let us know in a comment.


Read More »

RUMSON ALSO LIKELY TO SCRUB FIREWORKS

Scenes from the 2011 Rumson fireworks show, which was synched up with the Red Bank display upriver. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As go Red Bank’s Independence Day fireworks, so go Rumson’s.

For five years, the two towns put on simultaneous, mirror-image fireworks displays just miles apart on the Navesink River.

But the decision announced Wednesday by the KaBoom Fireworks organizing committee to shelve the Red Bank show in all likelihood means there also will be no fireworks anchored around the Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown this year, Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl tells redbankgreen.

“We’re probably not going to be able to go ahead,” he said.

Read More »

RED BANK FIREWORKS CANCELLED; SECURITY COSTS, INADEQUATE PUBLIC FUNDING CITED

Scenes from the 2011 fireworks show, when police presence was ramped up following widespread brawling and drunkeness in 2010. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s largest public event, the annual KaBoom Fireworks show, is off for 2012 and facing steep barriers to a return, organizers said Wednesday morning.

The nonprofit show’s executive committee, after several months of mulling, concluded about a week ago that the costs and challenges of staging the event, which draws an estimated 100,000 visitors to the borough each July 3, could not be met this year, chairman Tim Hogan told redbankgreen.

“It was a victim of its own success,” Hogan said, with increasingly bigger crowds  drawn to what was billed as the fourth-largest Independence Day fireworks celebration in America in terms of the number and size of shells lofted into the sky above the Navesink River.

“It was a big event,” he said. “It was a challenge to control the crowd and make sure we were providing security to the folks who came.”

Read More »

KABOOM ARREST NUMBERS MATCH LAST YEAR’S

A YouTube upload of a fight in Red Bank Sunday. It appears to be outside the 7-11, in which case police arrested four people for disorderly conduct. Below, police made a strong show of force, bring in an armored vehicle from the Monmouth County fleet. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

kaboom-cops-1Red Bank police made one fewer arrest during the KaBoom Fireworks Sunday than last year, showing, statistically at least, that the festival organizers’ push to bring the popular fireworks show back to a family focused event missed the mark.

However, police say they noticed a difference in the mood this year, and said there are a couple factors to consider when looking at the numbers.

Read More »

KABOOMERS TOUT RETURN TO ‘FAMILY’ SHOW

kaboom-wfront-2010Spectators watching the  2010 fireworks from outside the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The weekend extravaganza that is Kaboomfest kicks off Friday night, a three-day indulgence on the banks of our beautiful Navesink that includes rides, amusements, live music and one breathtaking pyrotechnics show that qualifies as one of the country’s largest.

There’s a lot to soak in of the borough’s lauded tradition, from parking to security, to where to catch the show and how to beat out after it’s done.

Your friends at redbankgreen have got you covered, and the articles below touch on all the facets of the show. Below is a shrunken version of those stories, providing a snapshot of what this weekend is all about.

Read More »

MIDDLETOWN SEEKS KABOOM COMPENSATION

cooper-bridgeA view of the Navesink River from Cooper’s Bridge, where Middletown officials are concerned more people will gather this year to see the fireworks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While the sky lights up and music blasts across the Navesink River Sunday, and Red Bank’s north end is bursting with crowds and pre- and post-show traffic, Middletown, too, will have its share of it all.

But unlike Red Bank, the neighboring township is footing the bill for the police overtime the event necessitates.

Not fair, say Middletown’s leaders, who share concerns that, with a new fee this year to watch the Kaboom fireworks show at Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank, more people are apt to catch the view from the north side of the river, making more work for its police force.

“It’s gotten worse every year,” said Middletown Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger, who called Middletown the fireworks’ “incidental victims.” “It’s not an event that we sanction, but we’re left having to deal with the police and crowd control.”

Read More »

A GUIDE TO KABOOM, COMING & GOING

LargemapDowntown will be closed to traffic beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The train is the easiest way in and out of town the night of the fireworks, coordinators say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

rb-trainIn addition to a powerhouse fireworks show, one guarantee for Sunday’s KaBoom event in Red Bank is the logjam of crowds and traffic that comes with it.

Tens of thousands of visitors stream into town by car, rail, on foot and by bike. Gridlock on the periphery of the central business district is likely before the show. Your “secret” path out of town afterward? Forget about it. It’s taillight city everywhere.

Below is a comprehensive rundown on what to expect, where to go and how to get in and out of town with the same amount of hair you came with.

Read More »

FIREWORKS PREVIEW: RUMSON

rumson-fireworks-signRumson’s fireworks will take place same time as Red Bank’s on July 3. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

While hundreds of thousands rub elbows to get a view of the Independence Day fireworks in Red Bank Sunday, just a few miles east, there’ll be a more subdued, but pyrotechnically identical, affair going on in Rumson.

For the fourth straight year, the borough will host Rumson’s Fireworks on the Navesink, a duplication of Red Bank’s Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink that draws between 12,000 and 14,000 visitors along the eastern banks of the Navesink River.

The borough has put out information to all businesses and residents in advance of the show, warning of parking and traffic expectations, and where to catch the action.

Read More »

FIREWORKS PREVIEW: SEA BRIGHT

sb-fireworks-signOcean Avenue in Sea Bright becomes a virtual parking lot during the town’s fireworks show. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Not to be forgotten amid the July 3 KaBoom blitzkrieg at two Navesink River locations is an annual tradition just across the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright, which will hold its Fourth of July fireworks on the actual Fourth of July.

But like Red Bank, the small seaside town faces a big task in getting large numbers of people in for the show.

“Our biggest issue here is parking,” Police Chief John Sorrentino said.

Read More »

KABOOM CLOSING IN ON FUNDRAISING GOAL

kaboom-firecrackerFirecracker says the Kaboom Committee is half-way to its $275,000 funding goal. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In a big change from this time a year ago, the KaBoom Committee is brimming with confidence as it readies the giant July 3 fireworks extravaganza in Red Bank.

Despite a still-sagging economy, sponsorships for this year’s three-day celebration have skyrocketed, and fundraising efforts have put the committee back in the black far earlier than last year, chairman Charles Moran has said.

With two days to go until the festival kicks off, the committee is making a final push to bring in more dollars to cover the $275,000 price tag — up from the normal $250,000 because of additional police presence — for the largest fireworks show in New Jersey, and one of the largest in the U.S.

“The committee is confident the fundraising goal will be met,” member Judy Musa said in an email.

Read More »

COPS ADDED FOR KABOOM ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’

kaboom-njt3-070310Hundreds of visitors packed a waiting area at the Red Bank station for a northbound train after the 2010 fireworks. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mccarthy-chief-steve-2

Following increases in disorderly behavior and outright violence at the Kaboom Fireworks in recent years, Red Bank police plan to boost enforcement, while elected officials are calling for maximum penalties for miscreants.

Police Chief Steve McCarthy, right, tells redbankgreen that a bolstered police presence will be on hand for this year’s July 3 festivities, with officers checking coolers for contraband alcohol as thousands of celebrants enter the borough’s riverside parks.

Cops will also crack down on open containers and be on the lookout for booze disguised as soft drinks, he said.

The entire 39-member force will work that day, and a larger number of cops from surrounding towns will the supplement the security presence than were on the scene last year.

“We have a considerable amount of police officers coming in to help us out,” McCarthty said.

Read More »

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR KABOOM SHOW

lunch-music-11The summerlong Lunch Music series at Riverside Gardens Park kicked off Wednesday. Volunteers are needed at the event to help raise money for Kaboom fireworks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Lunch Music made its intro overlooking the Navesink River in Red Bank Wednesday, a sweat-inducing afternoon that sent viewers to the few shaded spots available at Riverside Gardens Park.

As they were last year, representatives from RiverCenter were there with a table full of pamphlets of information while the Andreach-Crepta Jazz Duo hit the first notes of the summerlong series.

One aspect missing from the event, though, was a volunteer waving the yellow bucket for the Kaboom Fireworks Committee.

The committee, heading into the home stretch to raise funds for this year’s fireworks show on the Navesink River, is looking for people to get involved to help in the annual appeal from the public.

Read More »

FIREWORKS FEE AMENDED FOR KIDS

kaboom-muralThe Red Bank council amended the entry fee for the Kaboom fireworks Wednesday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s council had a collective palm-to-forehead moment Wednesday night.

Apparently caught up earlier this month in the haste of getting the entry charge for the KaBoom fireworks show formally passed so the organizers could go to print on advertising material, the council flubbed the fee structure for the show at its last meeting.

This, even after a pretty lengthy discourse on what qualifies as a child – and a mid-meeting text exchange with KaBoom committee Chairman Charles Moran.

“In confirming and calls and text, we probably missed something,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said.

Read More »

KABOOM: TEN BUCKS AT RIVERSIDE GARDENS

riverside-gardens-crowd1Fireworks watchers at Riverside Gardens Park will have to pay; viewing from other public properties will remain free. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Primo pyrotechnics views will cost you at one public location in Red Bank this July 3.

The Kaboom Fireworks Committee, apparently back on its feet through a revamped fundraising model, is backing off a previous plan to charge for views of the annual Independence Day fireworks show at three waterfront properties, and has decided on just one: Riverside Gardens Park.

The other two riverside locations, at the borough library and Marine Park, will remain free.

“They are on very, very sound financial footing,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said of the fireworks.

Read More »

KABOOM GETS A BOOST FROM THE BANK

kaboom-presserKaboom! Executive Director Charles Moran, right, looks on as Brenda Ross-Dulan of Wells Fargo announces the bank’s donation to the fireworks show. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s annual fireworks extravaganza got some serious firepower Friday.

Wells Fargo bank, which recently moved into Broad Street and has become ubiquitous since taking over Wachovia bank, has made the biggest contribution to Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink in the event’s history.

Read More »

KABOOMFEST PAYS ITS DEBT TO RED BANK

kick-in-kaboomersKaBoom volunteers making their way through the crowd with donations pails at Riverside Gardens Park in 2009. That’s KaBoom chairman Charles Moran at left.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just a couple months before the 2011 edition of Red Bank’s fireworks show is set to blast off from the Navesink, the Kaboomfest committee has paid off the balance from last year’s display and is getting ready for a somewhat revamped show for Independence Day weekend.

This time, though, officials, citing what they believe is a more sustainable fundraising model, don’t anticipate carrying a balance owed to Red Bank into 2012.

“No, we don’t,” Kaboom Chairman Charles Moran told redbankgreen. “Our budget includes being able to pay Red Bank this year.”

Bringing on major corporate sponsors like Meridian Health (owner of Riverview Medical Center) and Wells Fargo, plus charging for premium views of the show, are among the top factors in being able to clear the ledger on time, Moran said.

Read More »

KABOOMERS PROMISE FRESH START

A promotional video for the KaBOOM fireworks show. Below, Tim Hogan, new chairman of KaBoom’s executive committee. (Click to enlarge photo)

hogan-2Coming off two years of financial challenges and crowd-control issues, the 2011 edition of the giant annual fireworks extravaganza known as KaBoomFest will feature a renewed focus on family entertainment and security, organizers say.

While some aspects of the event, including whether to repeat last year’s expansion from one to three days, remain undecided, KaBoom is on track to raise more money from corporate sponsors this year and is paying more attention to the importance of security, said Tim Hogan, president of Riverview Medical Center and chairman of KaBoom’s executive committee.

“We want to make sure that it’s safe and want to make sure that it’s family-friendly,” Hogan said.

Read More »

RUMSON FIREWORKS STILL UP IN THE AIR

A YouTube video of the fireworks in Rumson last year. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Now that Red Bank has decided to move forward with KaBoom ’11 with a couple of changes, leadership at the other end of the Navesink can start talking about its own fireworks show.

First question: Will there be one?

More than likely, said John Ekdahl, mayor of Rumson — which puts on a scaled-down replica of the same fireworks display Red Bank has, at half the cost and a fraction of the crowd. But a final decision won’t be made until the Rumson Endowment Fund Committee, which helps fund special events in the borough, meets in the middle of February, Ekdahl said.

Before that happens, though, officials want to meet with Kaboom! committee members to untangle the lines of communication between the two boroughs, Ekdahl said.

“We want get the scoop for Kaboom! as far as what they’re up to and whether or not they’re going to have it,” Ekdahl said.

Read More »

FIREWORKS: FEES IN, FINES UP

fight2-070310Several fights broke out among teenagers gathered at Broad and West Front streets at the 2010 fireworks. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A waterfront view of this year’s Kaboom fireworks is going to cost you. So will acting out of line.

Following the recommendations of the provisional Kaboom! Task Force, the borough council intends to charge for seating at borough-owned waterfront property — the library, Riverside Gardens Park and Marine Park.

The fee, which hasn’t been established, would help the fireworks committee raise money for the $250,000 display and cover the borough’s expenses for police enforcement and cleanup efforts, Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

In an effort to curtail the number of alcohol-related incidents and “shenanigans,” Red Bank will also bring in more cops and increase fines for offenses including disorderly conduct, urinating in public and having an open container of alcohol, said Councilman Michael DuPont.

Read More »

TASK FORCE: CHARGE FOR FIREWORKS VIEW

umbrellaSpectators, like these in Riverside Gardens Park at the 2010 show, would have to pay a ‘nominal’ entry fee to watch the fireworks, a study suggests. (Click to enlarge)

shouldersBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s KaBoom fireworks may no longer be free — and as freewheeling — as they’ve been in recent years.

The ad hoc Kaboom! Task Force, formed in September to conduct a top-to-bottom examination of the annual event delivered its final report to the borough council Wednesday night.

The diagnosis: change is needed.

Read More »

KABOOM TO GET A REVIEW

kaboomA mural depicting Red Bank’s annual fireworks show on the side of Investors Savings Bank on White Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s annual fireworks show is going to get a “quick review” from a new task force formed Monday night.

At the request of the KaBoomfest fireworks committee, borough officials passed a resolution to form a task force to look at “every” aspect of the wildly popular July 4 pyro display, a move they say is needed to keep up with the times.

But at least one appointee, former Mayor Mike Arnone, hadn’t been told he was on it.

Read More »