RED BANK: THOUSANDS PACK OYSTERFEST

Sunny and cool weather provided ideal conditions for the return of the Red Bank RiverCenter-hosted Guinness Oyster Festival Sunday.

After a missed year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s 11th edition saw fewer local restaurants owing to staffing shortages. But thousands of attendees packed the White Street parking lot, waited patiently in lines for food and drinks, and partied with friends in front of two stages as in the past.

Were you there? Look for yourself and your friends in redbankgreen‘s beaucoup photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: KIRKPATRICK QUITS RIVERCENTER

RED BAN RIVERCENTER LAURA KIRKPATRICK 030420Laura Kirkpatrick addressing the Red Bank council in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time in just 17 months, the downtown promotion organization Red Bank RiverCenter is losing its executive director.

After just one, pandemic-filled year, Laura Kirkpatrick has resigned as operational head of the agency that manages the borough’s special improvement district, redbankgreen has learned.

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LINCROFT: TUNING UP, ‘CARBERSHOP’-STYLE

Jon Greene during a recent rehearsal. (Photo by Allan Dean. Click to enlarge.)

Getting the members of the Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society together for practice has not been possible during the pandemic.

And as the group has learned over the the past 13 months, rehearsing via Zoom just doesn’t cut it because of audio latency issues.

So director Craig J. Page found a workaround.

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RED BANK: DALPRA TO HEAD PARKS & REC

Louis ‘Del’ DalPra at Red Bank Regional in 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFormer Red Bank Regional High athletic director and coach Louis ‘Del’ DalPra was named director of the borough’s parks and recreation department Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: HOFFMANN LEAVING REC JOB

Charlie Hoffmann with parks attendant Celestine Woods at Riverside Gardens Park in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Charlie Hoffmann, who has directed Red Bank’s parks and recreation department for the past five years, is leaving town.

The announcement of his departure at the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday sparked a “pile-on” of praise for Hoffmann’s work, which included organizing everything from sports and cultural offerings to this weekend’s Spring Egg Hunt.

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SANDY HOOK: SPRINGSTEEN BUSTED FOR DWI

Bruce Springsteen outside the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njCould Bruce Springsteen be in need of a presidential pardon soon?

The rock star was arrested for DWI and other charges at Sandy Hook in November, federal officials confirmed Wednesday.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Among the many events organizers hope to bring back in 2021: the Red Bank Classic 5k, slated for June 19. A list of event dates is up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough council meets with a busy agenda of financing actions, hirings and more Wednesday.

There’s also something missing, though numerous commenters have demanded it: changes to the meeting protocol covering… public comment.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY DELIGHTS A-POPPING

Red Banker Mike Quon, below, is among the visual artists and craftsmakers selling their wares in a pop-up bazaar in the former Alfonso’s Bakery storefront on Broad Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The holiday season is popping in Red Bank, with a number of organizations applying the retail ‘pop-up‘ concept in coming days, not just to storefronts but also to entertainments.

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RED BANK: LOW-KEY TREE LIGHTING

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.

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FAIR HAVEN: WITCHES’ WHIMSY ON THE WATER

About two dozen witches swapped their brooms for self-propelled watercraft in the Navesink River off Fair Haven Saturday.

The aim of the “somewhat impromptu” coven convening was to “to bring a bit of whimsy and fun to an otherwise tricky (no pun intended) and difficult year,” said Rachel Griffin, who organized the event with Cassie Conley. Inspired by a Witch Paddle that takes place in Mystic, Connecticut, Griffin said she and Conley hope to make it an annual outing for charity.

Check out more photos below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: DiNIZIO SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE

The Basie marquee in 2018 touted a concert in memory of Smithereens’ singer Pat DiNizio, below.

Press release issued Monday  by the Count Basie Center for the Arts:

On what would have been the Smithereens’ lead singer’s 65th birthday, details were announced today for the 2021 Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship, named in honor of the New Jersey band’s legendary frontman, who passed away in December 2017.

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RED BANK: DEBUT VOGEL LINEUP SLATED

The Vogel will host its first performance October 22. (Photo courtesy of Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank plans to get back to the business of entertaining with the opening of a new theater dubbed the Vogel this month.

Kicking things off with a two-night stand starting October 22 is singer/guitarist Grace Potter, the Basie said in an announcing the first five acts for the freshly constructed space.

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RED BANK: BASIE TO OPEN NEW VENUE

The Vogel features socially distant tables. (Photo courtesy of Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter seven months in darkness, the Count Basie Center for the Arts plans to snap the lights back on in October.

The Red Bank venue announced Tuesday that it will again host indoor performances with the opening of The Vogel, seating audiences of up to 150 in a new space built for up to 800.

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RED BANK: GRUNIN TO CHAIR BASIE BOARD

Jeremy Grunin, left, with Basie Center President and CEO Adam Philipson. (Mark Sullivan photo. Click to enlarge.)

[Press release]

The Count Basie Center for the Arts, the not-for-profit performing arts center with a mission to “Inspire, Educate and Entertain,” announced today that Jeremy Grunin has accepted the role of Chairman of its Board of Trustees.

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RED BANK: FOOD FESTS OUT, CONCERTS IN

weeklings red bank njThe Weeklings, who’ve performed at past food festivals in town, will get a starring slot at a concert in Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe sun has set on the possibility that downtown Red Bank will host one or maybe even two food festivals this autumn.

Instead, business promotion agency RiverCenter has put six outdoor concerts on the district’s dance card – but you’ll have to pay to attend.

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