RED BANK: BASIE PLANS DRIVE-IN CONCERT

Jersey shore favorites Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will play for an audience watching from parked vehicles. (Video by Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

Darkened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts is taking its act to the track.

The storied venue plans to host a July 11 drive-in concert by  Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport on July 11.

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RED BANK: TWO FALL FESTIVALS? MAYBE…

red bank oysterfest 2019 The annual Guinness Oyster Fest in September could be followed just three weeks later by the International Beer, Wine & Food Fest, usually held in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith a calendar decimated by the COVID-19 crisis, Red Bank appears to be in for an unusually quiet summer.

But as summer edges into autumn, two of the town’s largest annual food festivals could occur within three weeks of one another, redbankgreen has learned.

Here’s a lookahead at the pandemic’s impacts on the summer calendar.

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RED BANK: BASIE FILM FEST GOES VIRTUAL

Wondering how to fill the hours while housebound by the COVID-19 pandemic? You might binge on the 27 bitesized movies in the Count Base Center for the Arts Teen & College Film Fest, which this year is a virtual affair.

Here are three entries, one from each category: middle school (above), high school and college (below).

After you’ve watched these, hop over to the festival page, watch the 24 others, and cast your vote for the your favorites.

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RED BANK: BAGPIPER CLOSES THE DISTANCE

Maintaining a safe distance from passersby, bagpiper Doc Saphire plays a bit of ‘Danny Boy’ outside his Red Bank home Wednesday evening. 

Because they can’t get together to perform and practice under COVID-19 directives, Saphire and his fellow members of the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch have embarked on a 100-day campaign of playing a song each night through the Fourth of July, he said. Wednesday night’s performance was his first from his Prospect Avenue porch.

“Once the crisis is over, anybody who wants to learn, we’re giving free lessons,” Saphire said. “If I can do it, anybody can.”  (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: MARQUEE TOUTS OPTIMISM

red-bank-basie-marqueeIts lineup of shows canceled under the near-lockdown we’re living with to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank has repurposed its marquee.

The marquee now displays messages of “optimism from our local heroes,” the Basie said in a press release. They include quotes from part-time borough resident Jon Stewart and other New Jersey stars.

More below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FORTUNE SETS ‘BASIE 2020’ SKED

william count basie postersImages of William ‘Count’ Basie on display at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center last week. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, built to honor a pioneering African-American journalist with Red Bank ties, plans to spotlight the borough-born musical giant William ‘Count’ Basie through 2020.

The occasion is the 85th anniversary of the formation of the Count Basie Orchestra, which is still touring 36 years after its founder’s death.

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RED BANK: SCAVONE TO LEAVE RIVERCENTER

scavone menna red bank, nj,Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center director Margaret Mass at the opening of RiverCenter’s offices on Broad Street in October, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Jim Scavone, who led Red Bank RiverCenter for the past six years, is leaving the downtown promotion organization.

He won’t be going far, though: he’s taking a job at Hackensack Meridian Health at Riverview Medical Center, just on the edge of special improvement district he managed.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY SEASON GOES LIVE

red bank holiday express town lighting 2019red bank holiday express town lighting 2019Crisp weather provided an ideal setting for the unofficial start of the Christmas season in downtown Red Bank Friday night.

With Tim McLoone-led Holiday Express working its musical magic for the 27th time, several thousand kids and kids-at-heart crowded a stretch of Broad Street, singing along and counting down to the light-up of downtown trees. 

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos below to see if you recognize any smiling faces underneath all those fun hats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER THEATER FOUNDER DIES

Robert Rechnitz with his wife, Joan, in 2012. Below, the Two River Theater, where a new plaza was under construction this week. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank two river theaterRobert M. Rechnitz, who co-founded Red Bank’s Two River Theater with his wife, Joan, died at his home Saturday, the theater announced Wednesday. He was 89 years old.

 

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RED BANK: TENTH OYSTERFEST ROCKS THE LOT

red bank oysterfest 2019red bank oysterfest 2019 Sunshine and feels-like temperatures around 80 degrees put thousands of visitors in a dancing, eating and drinking mood at the 10th annual Guinness Oyster Festival in Red Bank Sunday.

This year’s event, held as always in the White Street parking lot, raised funds for three Red Bank-based benefactors: Monmouth Day Care Center, T. Thomas Fortune House, and Red Bank RiverCenter, the event sponsor.

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

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RED BANK: SUNSET CONCERT PICTURE-PERFECT

red bank new jersey symphony 2019red bank new jersey symphony 2019A golden sunset on the Navesink River, pillow-soft breezes and the soaring sounds of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra combined to create a picture-perfect summer’s evening in Marine Park in Red Bank Sunday.

Were you there? Check out redbankgreen‘s photos below to spot familiar faces, and let us know what you thought of the event, which was organized for the third consecutive year by Red Bank RiverCenter. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: WINTER WONDERLAND ON BROAD

red bank, nj, broad streetA synthetic-ice rink will be installed on Broad Street between Wallace and White streets, above. Below, an example of one of the vendor’s giant snow globes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, winter, ice rink, snow globeA stretch of downtown Red Bank will be turned into a one-day winter wonderland complete with skating on Sunday.

Dubbed ‘Winter on Broad Street,’ the plan also calls for a walk-in snowglobe families can use for selfies and a shopping bazaar featuring locally made items.

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