SKIES CLEAR AND LIGHT UP OVER THE RIVER

Thunderstorms and rain made the Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink an iffy proposition all day Sunday. But by sunset, the skies had cleared for another terrific pyrotechnics display over our beautiful river.

Pix were taken Saturday and Sunday in Red Bank. To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To return to redbankgreen, hit the escape key.

And be sure to check out all our photo albums at Flickr.

RUMSON, IN A FLASH AND RUMBLE

Shots of Rumson’s 2011 edition of the Independence Day Fireworks, as seen from Victory Park, the Oceanic Bridge and surrounding areas.

As is the custom, the show, by Garden State Fireworks, was synched up with, and identical to (except in the size of the shells) the show upriver, between Red Bank and Middletown.

Photos by Dustin Racioppi. To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To return to redbankgreen, hit the escape key.

And be sure to check out all our photo albums at Flickr.

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.

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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.

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RUMSON GETS ITS FIREPOWER BACK

Rumson_fireworks3The Rumson fireworks, as seen from Victory Park in 2007. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the first time in its short life, Rumson’s annual fireworks display came close a to not happening along the affluent  banks of the Navesink River next month.

Donations for the Independence Day show, which are synced with Red Bank’s ginormous Kaboom! display, were about $30,000 short of the approximate $100,000 mark needed to cover the cost late last month.

That’s something that the borough, which boasts residents who call $1 million spare change, simply had no problem with in the last three years in putting on the pyro show, Mayor John Ekdahl said. But this year, the shortfall appeared to spell doom for the event, held near the Oceanic Bridge.

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BASIE GOES BOOM WITH INDOOR FIREWORKS

basie-fireworks2The guys at Garden State Fireworks, who put on the annual KaBoom! fireworks, set off some sparks Wednesday night at Count Basie Theatre. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Anthony Trufolo)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Setting off fireworks in an 85-year-old building sounds nothing short of disastrous, right?

You’d think so, but Chris and Augie Santore are masters of pyrotechnics and, besides, a little showing off for their eager crowd was expected.

The owners of Garden State Fireworks made a visit to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre Wednesday night to give a few hundred people a glimpse into all the work that goes into the annual Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink show. The literally flashy live action of indoor fireworks was part of a presentation on how the display is coordinated with music.

You could tell by facial reactions that most, if not all, of the people in the crowd were surprised to see just how labor intensive setting up a fireworks show is.

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A ‘MASSIVE DISPLAY,’ WEATHER PERMITTING

chris-santoreChris Santore of Garden State Fireworks overseeing the loading of the KaBoom barge at a dock in Staten Island earlier this week. The barge is scheduled to come upriver to Red Bank on today’s 4p tide; a second barge heads to a spot near the Oceanic Bridge off Rumson early Friday morning. (Photo courtesy of Tommy Welsh)

Everywhere you look, it seems, New Jersey towns and cities have scaled back or canceled their annual Independence Day fireworks shows.

Today’s Star-Ledger is among the latest media outlets to detail the economic fallout on fireworks shows.

But here in Red Bank, the KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink display will go on Friday night, barring an unexpected windstorm or drenching rain — in which case it will be moved to Saturday night.

The only real difference from past editions of the event is that organizers will be out soliciting contributions to close a deficit for the $200,000 spectacle, people involved in the planning say.

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