RED BANK: HOTEL PLANS PHASED REOPENING

red bank oyster point hotelThe Oyster Point will reopen Monday, while its sibling, the Molly Pitcher Inn, will remain closed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Easing back to life from its COVID-19 lockdown, Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel plans to launch a phased reopening Monday.

But amid uncertainty over wedding and business-event bookings, the hotel and its sibling Molly Pitcher Inn now have to “reinvent” themselves, company vice president Kevin Barry told redbankgreen Friday.

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RED BANK: QUICK PARADE, SMALL DELIGHTS

red bank memorial day 2020 The mini parade rumbles down Spring Street, above.

red bank memorial day 2020A late addition to the calendar, Red Bank’s pandemic-era Memorial Day parade Monday could not compare to last year’s version in terms of spectacle. Still, it offered a thrill to small clusters of borough residents.

Comprising a fire truck and a half-dozen throaty motorcycles, the drive-thru-town parade took some onlookers by surprise, while others were ready and waiting. Check out more photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SUNNY STRETCH TO CONTINUE

The mild, sunny weather that’s ushered autumn 2019 onto the Greater Red Bank Green will continue through the coming weekend and well into next week, according to the National Weather Service

That sets the stage for one of Red Bank’s biggest festivals, the Guinness Oysterfest, which gets its tenth annual staging Sunday. Temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-70s when headliners Almost U2 and The Weeklings take the stages at the opposite ends of the municipal parking lot.

Check out the extended forecast below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) Read More »

RED BANK: PARADE MARCHES BACK TO LIFE

Red Bank’s Memorial Day Parade, a onetime tradition that halted an indeterminate number of years ago, was back in full force Monday.

Under fabulously sunny skies, the Parks & Rec-organized event saw a stableful of therapy horses leading the way up Broad Street from Irving Place to the Veteran’s Monument on Monmouth Street. There, a short ceremony in commemoration of military victims of foreign wars was held.

Enjoy the 50-photo slideshow from both events below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: HOOPS, A PARADE, PIRATES & MORE

red bank middle school girls basketballThe Red Bank Middle School girls’ basketball team was honored for an undefeated season. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,The Red Bank  council’s filled-to-bursting agenda Wednesday night included a ton of feel-good news and event lookaheads.

Here’s a quick recap.

 

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RED BANK: BASIE #GIVING BACK TO VETS

The domed ceiling of the Count Basie Theatre. Below, Linda and Jay Grunin. 

“Giving Tuesday,” founded in 2012 by New York City’s 92nd St. YMCA and the United Nations Foundation, was originally a “response to commercialism and consumerism” during the holiday season. It has since turned into an international day of giving.

Next Tuesday, Nov. 28, the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre will join forces with 94.3 The Point and The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation for a day-long, live broadcast from the Basie to raise funds for the Veterans Tickets Foundation, or Vet Tix.

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RED BANK: BASIE STARTS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Dozens of local politicians and players in the arts world turned out for the event. Below, Basie board members Steven Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen Van Zandt. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A $23 million expansion of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre formally got underway Wednesday, beginning what’s expected to be a 20-month endeavor to turn the Vaudeville-era venue into a powerhouse for live performance and arts education.

The aim, musician and actor Steven Van Zandt told an al fresco gathering, is “to make Red Bank an example to the rest of the county of what it is possible to do” in elevating the arts.

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FAIR HAVEN: FIREMEN’S FAIR TURNS 58

Oh yes, Mr. Teapot, the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair returns for its 58th annual edition starting Friday.

It was the late summer of 1960, and even as storm watchers were keeping tabs on a tropical depression named Donna, the thoughts of most folks were with squeezing the last bit of enjoyment out of another hard-earned vacation season.

The American Football League was still a week or two away from kicking off its first game, and precious few people were aware of a little band named the Beatles, but taking advantage of a change in state laws governing raffles and midway-style games of chance, volunteer firefighters in launched an event that returns for its 58th annual edition this week: the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.

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ON THE GREEN: ECLIPSING EXPECTATIONS

An historic total eclipse of the sun — well, partial eclipse, in this part of the United States — drew summer vacationers and office workers alike out into cloying heat and humidity across the Greater Red Bank Green Monday.

On sidewalks in downtown Red Bank and the parking lot of the Monmouth County Library’s Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, among other locales, they donned safety spectacles, craned their necks and oohed and ahhed throughout the slow-motion celestial event, the first coast-to-coast eclipse in America since 1918.

Check out our photos of the skywatchers below. (Photos by John T. Ward and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: VAN ZANDT LINEUP TO ROCK BASIE

van-zandt-guadagno-111416-1Steven Van Zandt and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno on stage at the Basie Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-marquee-111416A four-night campaign of classic rock shows curated by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in coming months will help drive a $20 million expansion Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, officials said Monday.

But the names of the acts to be spotlighted in the series remained under wraps at a press conference held on the stage of the Vaudeville-era venue.
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RED BANK: WAG, WOODFISH TO ROCK PARK

the wag 072713Two popular Red Bank-area bands — the Wag, seen above, and Woodfish — take the open-air stage at Riverside Gardens Park Saturday evening for the “Concert for the Kids,” in support of the Red Bank Parks and Recreation youth sports programs. 

There’s no charge for the 5:30 p.m. event, but a donation of $10 is suggested to help ensure that any child who wants to play sports or attend a camp is able to do so, said department director Charlie Hoffman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TWEET THIS PHOTO

luis santamaria 060816Red Bank Middle School seventh grader Luis Santamaria shows off his photo of baby birds waiting to be fed in their nest before he was honored by the borough council Wednesday night.

The photo was one of four selected as winners in the latest round of seasonal photo contests sponsored by the borough’s Parks and Recreation Department, and earned Luis a certificate as well as a portfolio review by professional photographers Liz and Bob McKay of McKay Imaging Photography on Monmouth Street.

Luis told redbankgreen he takes lots of photos, and for this one, got as close as he could to the birds without disturbing them and snapped the shot with his cracked-screen cellphone. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SEASONAL PHOTO CONTEST DEBUTS

JONATHAN BALANZARLIDIA CARRANZA (1)Photos by a Red Bank Middle School student, Jonathan Balanzar, above, and an adult, Lidia Carranza, right, were the winners in the first of a new series of seasonal photo contests sponsored by the borough’s Parks and Recreation Department, director Charlie Hoffmann announced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

The photos will hang in the department’s offices at borough hall and be posted on the new version of the town website now under development, he said. The deadline for the spring edition of the contest, which is open to all Red Bank residents, is May 30.

Meantime, here’s a colorful photo op: the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which is scheduled for noon on Saturday, March 19 at Eastside Park on Harrison Avenue.  (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MEET THE NEW DEPARTMENT HEADS

cliff keen 122315Cliff Keen, above, is the new director of public utilities, and Charlie Hoffmann, below, runs parks and rec. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

charlie hoffmann 122115Recent months have brought some new faces to Red Bank government.

In particular, three departments that residents have regular interaction with, and occasional strong opinions about, are under new leadership: parks and recreation; planning and zoning; and public utilities.

Here’s a quick intro to the new directors.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Basie expansion 1 102615An architect’s rendering of the expanded Count Basie Theatre includes additions on the east and west sides of the existing structure. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Red Bank’s Vaudeville-era Count Basie Theatre is in for a massive, $20 milion expansion that will turn it into a “creative campus” dedicated to the performing arts in coming years, officials said Monday.

Incorporating adjoining properties acquired in recent years, theater officials plan to “move toward our longtime vision of an entire city block dedicated to the performing arts,” Tom Widener, chairman of the theater’s board of trustees, said in an announcement released Monday morning.
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