MIDDLETOWN THROWS ITSELF A FESTIVAL

Middletown DayBouncing back for 2015, the annual Middletown Day celebration brings colorful sights, sounds and savor to the grounds of the township’s Parks and Rec headquarters this Saturday.

Mtown day logo 2015The annual Middletown Day celebration returns to the headquarters of the township’s Department of Parks and Recreation (the Croydon Hall facility on Leonardville Road in Leonardo) for a rain-or-shine afternoon of all-ages activity that commences this Saturday at 11 a.m.

It’s an eclectic event that promises everything from bounce-houses to business showcases; live rock music to rock-climbing walls; touch-a-firetruck ops to petting zoo — plus food and craft vendors, Granny’s Tag Sale, kids’ activities, all-ages hayrides and all-for-fun sporting contests and tournaments.

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RED BANK: WHAT, NO PONY RIDES?

Coming soon, if Coffee Corral has its way: bocce and horseshoe courts and a fire pit. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nobody can say Russ Crosson isn’t adaptable. When the real estate industry took a nosedive a few years back, Crosson schooled himself in the craft of coffee-roasting and transformed his onetime construction office on Red Bank’s West Side into a must-hit place for consumers with a jones for fine java.

Now, just a year after opening his Coffee Corral, at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard, Crosson is feeling his oats and ready to expand the operation.

But not in the way one might expect. Rather than seeking permission for on-premises consumption of joe at his takeout-only store, Crosson wants to supplement the business with horseshoes, bocce, a hot dog cart – and maybe a little live music.

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A LONG, COOL LUNCH BREAK

11:14 a.m. In an effort to help those without AC in their homes escape the sweltering heat, Lunch Break is staying open an extra three hours past its usual lunch hour Wednesday. Games and television will be provided until 4 p.m. so those who need to can stay cool, said executive assistant Millie Jeter.

“These people are like family to us,” said Jeter. “We want them to be comfortable – and hydrated.”  (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

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TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOYSTICKS

Here’s a video that tracks a couple of Red Bank kids as they explore Yestercades, the retro gaming emporium that’s been the buzz of Broad Street since even before it opened in October.

Niko Porter, a fourth-grader at the Red Bank Middle School, and Patricio Vera, a senior at Red Bank Regional, took a whirlwind tour of the arcade, which features such classics as Pac Man, Frogger, Space Invaders and Tetris.

Niko, by the way, no longer sports that awesome mop of hair. He recently donated it to be made into a wig for a cancer patient.

redbankgreen‘s picture person Trish Russoniello did the edit.

MENNA: RED BANK NEEDS MORE NIGHT ACTION

wfront-2The mayor says entertainment ventures could help fill empty storefronts. Above, two long-time vacant spaces on West Front Street. (Click to enlarge)

Citing a surplus of vacant storefronts and not enough for visitors to do after-hours, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Monday called for law changes to allow more nightlife attractions downtown.

Menna got the ball rolling on what he said would be a process to come up with zoning changes to allow such ventures as billiards parlors, small movie theaters, and places offering “digital entertainment” in the district.

“People say, ‘we love coming to Red Bank, but after we have dinner and drinks, we want to do more,'” he said.

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