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RED BANK: BRISK START TO HOLIDAY SEASON

red bank nj holiday express light-up concertred bank nj holiday express light-up concertBrisk weather in Red Bank once again made for an ideal Holiday Express start to the Christmas season Friday night.

With the Tim McLoone-led band working its musical magic for the 26th 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: K9 VEST, MAYOR’S BALL, PINS

Eko, one of two canine members of the Red Bank police force, has a new ballistic vest, courtesy of the Elks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank mayor and council were in an appreciative mood last Wednesday, spotlighting  good works by three charitable organizations.

And the town now has an official lapel pin. Read on for details.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from redbankgreen! (Photos by John T. Ward. GIF by Trish Russoniello.)

RED BANK: LIGHTS UP ON HOLIDAY SEASON

Santa Claus, the Grinch and Holiday Express worked their magic for the 25th time, ushering in the Christmas-and-other-holidays season with music, laughs and a touch of flurries on Broad Street in Red Bank Friday night.

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

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RUMSON: ARTISTS RETURN TO CANTERBURY

The annual Canterbury Art Show unfurls its Labor Day weekend “Tapestry of the Arts” festival beginning with a reception and preview sale Friday.

It’s an event that regularly draws the participation of nearly 100 area artists, and a display that boasts an inventory of more than 600 creative works in a myriad of media.

Going up in Rumson this weekend for its sixth annual edition — the fourth since making a well-received move to the Labor Day holiday interlude — the festival known as the Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts is also a forum in which several of the artists put themselves on live-action display, and in which the grandest work of art just might be the host venue itself.

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RED BANK: FESTIVAL BENEFITS TWO CHARITIES

The most recent Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest, held in April, raised $15,000 for two charities: borough-based Parker Family Health Center and Shrewsbury-based Holiday Express. Jim Scavone, executive director of event host Red Bank RiverCenter, presented checks of $7,500 to each organization at Wednesday’s borough council meeting.

Holiday Express founder Tim McLoone, above, played at the festival with his side project, The Shirleys. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FOOD FEST TO PACK PARKING LOT

More than 20 local food purveyors will be present  when the 2017 edition of the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest commandeers the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

While the recent cancellation of Riverfest has left a hole in Red Bank’s yearly segue into summer, fans of strolling smorgasbords and top-down tunes needn’t wait too long to get their festival fix — as this Sunday, the White Street municipal parking lot will be the scene for the 2017 edition of the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest.

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LINCROFT: AN EXPRESS STOP AT CBA

cba-holiday-expressTim McLoone leads the Holiday Express musicians in a December 15 appearance at Christian Brothers Academy, where the big band entertained a group of special needs young people.

Press release from Christian Brothers Academy 

On Thursday, December 15, the McKay Gym at Christian Brothers Academy was once again transformed into a rocking holiday event hall, as part of Tim McLoone’s Holiday Express Christmas Party.

“This is the best day of the year,” said Tim Sewnig, Director of CBA’s Campus Ministry, of the event held each year to help young adults with special needs get in the Christmas spirit. The Academy hosts several holiday season fundraisers each year — a winter coat drive, collection for children with pediatric cancer, and Thanksgiving food drive to name a few — but this event has a special place amongst them.

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RED BANK: EXPRESSWAY TO OUR HEARTS

tim-mcloone-112516-1Tim McLoone (seen presiding over the annual Town Lighting concert in downtown Red Bank) conducts the Holiday Express band back into station stop Basie for a pair of public-welcome shows on December 19 and 20 — with an all-aboard for volunteer “warehouse elves” at the nonprofit’s Tinton Falls facility.

VIP-level attendees at many Count Basie Theatre events have never been averse to paying as much as several hundred dollars over base ticket price, to enjoy such perks as premium seating, autographed tour souvenirs, and personal meet-and-greet opportunities with the featured attractions. But as far as Tim McLoone and Holiday Express are concerned, there are some ultra-exclusive events that remain off limits at any price.

It isn’t because you’re not cool enough, connected enough, or cash-money enough to score tickets. It’s just that admission to those performances is available to you only if you’re one of the more than 15,000 residents of regional homeless shelters, psychiatric hospitals, developmental centers, children’s wards and other places that form the heart of the Holiday Express itinerary — places whose residents are often without any family or friends, and whose sole ray of light is that annual visit by the big jinglebell juggernaut of a band.

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Express regularly detours from its tight timetable at this time each year, to play a double-header of fundraiser shows at station stop Basie; a tradition that continues this coming Monday and Tuesday, December 19 and 20.

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LINCROFT: CBA, TRINITY HALL RAISE $7,500+

cba-sadd-food-drive-2016Students from Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft) and Trinity Hall (Tinton Falls) teamed up to prepare and serve dinner to more than 240 attendees last Tuesday, raising over $7,500 in the process. 

Press release from Christian Brothers Academy

On December 6, the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters of Christian Brothers Academy and Tinton Falls-based Trinity Hall teamed up once again for their 10th annual “Dinner for the Troops.”

Convening in the CBA cafeteria, students handled all the preparations and cooking for 240 guests, while raising over $7,500 in the process. All funds raised will go towards supporting servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas. The evening also featured guest speaker Sgt. Melissa Leist, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, who shared her thoughts on military service.

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RED BANK: A 24TH NIGHT OF HOLIDAY DAZZLE

rb-town-lighting-112516-4rb-town-lighting-112516-7For the 24th straight year, the feel-jolly sounds of Holiday Express served as the soundtrack to a Town Lighting ceremony that drew thousands of visitors to downtown Red Bank Friday night. Were you among those who braved the drizzle for the dazzle? Check out our photos to see who you might recognize. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY EXPRESS TO LIGHT IT UP

112715holidayexp32Tim McLoone, at left above, and the Holiday Express band get some help kicking off another silver-bells season on the sidewalks of Red Bank at Friday night’s annual Town Lighting concert. Jackie Evancho (below) brings a program of holiday songs and hits to the Count Basie stage. (Photo above by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge) 

jackie_evanchoIf it’s accomplished nothing else during its quarter century of continuous service, Red Bank’s annual Town Lighting ceremony has successfully wrested the idea of “Black Friday” from visions of crushing chaos at the mall to one of sing-along harmony in a walkable-wonderland setting of merry commerce and activity.

When the lights are ceremoniously lit in downtown Red Bank for the 24th consecutive year this Friday evening, it will come not a moment too soon for an extended community that really does need a little Christmas, right this very minute. And summoned once more into service like a jinglebell-jukebox Justice League will be Holiday Express, the big traveling winter wall of sound whose founder and skipper Tim McLoone has helped sound the keynote and flip the switch on a generation’s worth of festive occasions in the heart of Red Bank’s downtown diorama.

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TINTON FALLS: EXPRESS SEEKS HOLIDAY ELVES

townlightingThe Holiday Express band performs at one of its annual Town Lighting public concerts in downtown Red Bank.The humanitarian organization behind the big traveling band is putting out the call for volunteer “warehouse elves” at their Tinton Falls facility.

Every year for the past several decades, Holiday Express founder and co-frontman Tim McLoone leads his big traveling band in a special keynote to the most festive of seasons, as the assembled musicians and singers preside over Red Bank’s annual Town Lighting ceremony with a free open-air, public-welcome concert.

The “Black Friday” tradition is merely one of the more visible manifestations of the musical humanitarian organization that performs dozens of concerts at places that exist well below most people’s radar — the nursing homes, rehab centers, homeless shelters, psychiatric facilities and other locales whose audiences are made up of what McLoone calls the “adult orphans” among us.

While the veteran musician, businessman and entrepreneur observes that the Holiday Express orchestra is the aspect of the organization that “makes the most noise,” he’s quick to point out that the energizing engine is backed up by a formidable freight-train of volunteer support personnel, drivers, techies, and donation/gift processing workers at the nonprofit’s Tinton Falls warehouse facility (938 Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls). And, effective immediately, the Express is putting out a call for just such a crew of “warehouse elves” — a call that includes, for the first time, an online sign-up.

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RED BANK: EVERY BOWL FEEDS A SOUL

jbj-soul-kitchen-101911-500x375Press release from Art Alliance of Monmouth County

The weekend of May 14 and 15 is going to be beautiful, no matter what the weather. On that Saturday and Sunday, all Monmouth County residents and visitors are invited to take part in the Empty Bowls Project, a joint fundraiser to benefit the JBJ Soul Kitchen and the Art Alliance of Monmouth County, in collaboration with Monmouth County Arts Council’s Teen Arts Festival.

The event will take place in the organic gardens of Soul Kitchen at 207 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. Participants make a donation of $20 and receive a “pay it forward” coupon. Their coupon entitles them to select one of the hundreds of beautiful handmade bowls, and will help to feed an in-need person at the Soul Kitchen and benefit the Art Alliance. May 14 hours are 1 to 5 p.m.; May 15 hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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LINCROFT: EXPRESS GREETINGS AT CBA

tim mcloone holidayIn what has become an annual tradition at Christian Brothers Academy, over 40 students from CBA and Trinity Hall helped spread some holiday cheer on Thursday, December 17 during the annual Holiday Express Christmas Party. Students and faculty joined Tim McLoone (at keyboard) and the bandmembers and support team of Holiday Express for a day of Christmas fun and dancing, all to help adults with special needs and disabilities enjoy this special time of year. (More photos after the story break)

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RED BANK: LUNCH WITH HOLIDAY EXPRESS

holiday express 121815 2It’s more than just music when Holiday Express pulls into Lunch Break, one of 81 stops the organization will make this holiday season. The Grinch, below, is always along for the ride. (Photos by Kate Beckett, above, and Susan Ericson, below. Click to enlarge)

tim-grinch-band-rblightingWith the Turning Point restaurant providing food for 400, volunteers from Holiday Express plan to make a special stop in Red Bank Saturday.

The non-profit purveyor of music, food, gifts, financial support, and human kindness during the holiday season has scheduled a full-band visit to Lunch Break from 10 a.m. to noon.

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RED BANK: CHRISTMAS BASIE, C’MON HOME

Tim mcloone 2011Tim McLoone and Holiday Express (above) make their annual fundraising whistle-stop on the Count Basie stage this Thursday, followed on Friday by the “Souled Out” (but still very much on sale) return of Christmas Baby Darlene Love (below).  

darlene-loveNo matter how many times Darlene Love appeared on David Letterman’s show to deliver her soaring signature “Christmas (Baby please come home),” it somehow stayed fresh across four decades, five presidential administrations and countless hairstyles.

Likewise, Holiday Express manages to keep it fresh despite spending most of the year in a crisper, only to be taken out for a blizzard of seasonal performances.

And somehow, the Count Basie Theatre does it up in style every December with crowd-pleasing sets by both acts, which roll into Red Bank in the nights ahead.

Read on for details…

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RED BANK: BIG SHOW POWERS UP SEASON

112715holidayexp44112715holidayexp47Thousands of revelers enjoyed the music, warm weather and fake snow as Holiday Express kicked off another holiday season at the Red Bank Town Lighting Friday night. redbankgreen was there as Santa and Mrs. Claus, Bobby Bandiera and Miss Teen New Jersey set the crowd dancing. Check out our photos by clicking “read more” below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
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RED BANK: LIGHTS UP ON HOLIDAY SEASON

holiday-express-2010-2Tim McLoone (below) and Holiday Express sound the keynote for another silver-bells season on the sidewalks of Red Bank with a free concert and Town Lighting ceremony Friday night. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) 

timmclooneHe’s the leader of the band and founder of the winter-wonderland wall of sound known as Holiday Express. As such, Tim McLoone is also the conductor of a festive freight-train that each year carries its message of community and caring to the places that almost no one wants to think about — not even during the holidays.

And every Black Friday evening, McLoone is a conductor of electricity — when he and the big band sound the keynote and flip the switch on a season of sights and Santa-fied activities that make Red Bank the area’s undisputed Capital of Christmastime.

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RED BANK: SANTA BASIE, HURRY DOWN

Tim Kirk Love BobClockwise from top left: Jinglebell fundraiser concerts featuring Tim McLoone’s Holiday Express (December 18), Brian Kirk and the Jirks (December 20), Darlene Love (December 21) and Bobby Bandiera (December 22) provide the driving soundtrack to the holiday homestretch in the nights ahead.

The countdown to Christmas 2015 represents anything but a wind-down at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, where a fast-moving flurry of high-profile benefit concerts promises to keep the place buzzing like Santa’s workshop-slash-fulfillment center during the holiday homestretch.

From the most big-hearted of local music mainstays, to the vintage hitmakers whose records landed on many a Boomer-era wish list — and on into the next generation of Shore scene stalwarts — the Basie boards will resound with a Wall of seasonal Sound, every note of it dedicated to a great cause and an all-’round generosity of spirit.

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RED BANK: COATS, BABY ITEMS NEEDED

Mary Pat copy

Winter coats for people of all ages — and essentials for infants — are among the most-wanted items this season, as local businesses and nonprofits distribute food, clothing and toiletries to the neediest neighbors in our community.

This Thursday, December 11, has been designated as the date for a Winter Coat Drive on behalf of Red Bank-based Lunch Break; hosted by Health in Hand Chiropractic and sponsored by One Warm Coat. Between the hours of 8:30 am and 6 pm, coats can be dropped off at the office of Dr. Chris Storti (410 Pine Street in Middletown, off Route 35 North), with other cold-weather necessities — hats, scarves, gloves and mittens — appreciated as well.

From now through the winter season, the management of Resources Real Estate has announced a partnership with Jersey Cares and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (pictured) to collect coats for families in need throughout New Jersey, as part of their 19th Annual Jersey Cares Coast Drive. The four Resources locations have been designated as official collection sites where members of the community can drop off their “gently used” coats. Donors can stop in at any time during regular business hours to the offices in Red Bank (4A West Front Street; Monday-Friday 10-6; Saturday-Sunday 10-4) or Rumson (112 East River Road; Monday-Friday 9-5; Saturday-Sunday 10-4). Donations will also be accepted at the Resources locations in Atlantic Highlands (65 First Avenue) and Monmouth Beach (36-3 Beach Road).

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TINTON FALLS: EXPRESS NAMES NEW DIRECTOR

Lorrie_Head_shot_DFS-217[3]Press release from Holiday Express

Since 1993, Holiday Express has relied on more than 1,500 volunteers and only four full-time paid employees to deliver music, food, gifts, and financial support to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the Holiday season and throughout the year. To help make it all possible, the non-profit organization has announced the hiring of Lorrie Klaric as the new Executive Director.

Klaric, who starts immediately, will be replacing Donald Pignataro who announced his retirement in the fall and has served successfully as the organization’s Executive Director since 2006.  Pignataro will remain as the Executive Director until the end of the year to allow for a smooth transition of leadership.

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RED BANK LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT & SEASON

112814 holexp17Tim McCloone and Holiday Express rocked in the holiday season Friday night with an appreciative but cold throng of revelers.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

112814 hotchocolateThey all showed up in Red Bank Friday night to ring in the holiday season: Frosty, the Grinch, Santa and the Mrs., and especially the ringleader, Tim McCloone.

Starting the well-attended street party off with favorites “All Alone on Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman,” Holiday Express got the masses singing and moving to the beat for the annual night-after-Thanksgiving town light-up. Red Bank’s volunteer fire department handed out cups of hot chocolate to help defrost frozen fingers while festive lights were turned on to brighten the streets and sidewalks.

Were you one of the bundled up in the crowd? Click below to see who else showed up for the party.

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SANTA EXPRESS ARRIVES ON TIME

112814 santa6Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at the Red Bank train station from Little Silver to a crowd of excited children and adults. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

112814 santaMore than 100 children and adults waited for Santa and Mrs. Claus to make their way to the Red Bank train station from Little Silver Friday night.

Dozens more disembarked from the annual Santa Express, sponsored by the Galleria of Red Bank, to entertainment by the Kathryn Barnett School of Dance and the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch. Many then made their way east along Monmouth Street in a parade to the Holiday Express Concert and town light-up.

Were you among them? Look below to see if you made this years photo album. And if you missed Santa, click here for more opportunities to see Jolly Old St. Nick.

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