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RED BANK: HOLIDAY CHEER & ‘BUCKS’ IN KICKOFF



red bank nj holiday express light-up concertThe 30th edition of a dazzling Red Bank event, and the first of one helping local businesses compete, kick off the Christmas season Friday and Saturday.

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RED BANK: PARK CHRISTMAS TREE ARRIVES

After a short trip from Middletown, Red Bank’s annual centerpiece Christmas tree is up and ready for trimming in Riverside Gardens Park.

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RED BANK: HOLIDAY EXPRESS ROLLS AGAIN

Bundled up against the cold, hundreds of stoked-for-the-season revelers cheered the return of Holiday Express to downtown Red Bank Friday night.

A partial stage-lighting outage was the only bit of rust as the Tim McLoone-led orchestra played its 28th annual show on Broad Street, after skipping 2020 for the pandemic.

As in the past, the concert and downtown light-up followed a dance performance at the borough train station and Santa parade to the concert stage. 

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos below to see if you recognize anyone. (Photos by Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: BUNDLE UP FOR HOLIDAY EXPRESS

red bank nj holiday express light-up concertAfter a pandemic year off, the high-energy Holiday Express concert and Town Light-Up is slated to return to downtown Red Bank Friday night. 

Attendees will want to bundle up for what looks to be a seasonally appropriate chilly and breezy event.

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RED BANK: LOCAL TREE SPRUCES UP PARK

Red Bank’s annual centerpiece Christmas tree is up and ready for trimming in Riverside Gardens Park.

And in a break from most years, this one came from a front yard right in town.

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RED BANK: CONCERT OFF, LIGHT-UP STILL ON

red bank holiday express town lighting 2019An annual event that brings thousands of visitors to Red Bank and kicks off the holiday season has gotten the coronavirus bump.

What would have been the 28th annual Holiday Express concert November 27 won’t be held this year, organizers confirmed Wednesday.

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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: HOLIDAY EXPRESS TO LIGHT IT UP

red bank nj holiday express light-up concertred bank nj holiday express light-up concertThe Red Bank Holiday Express concert and Town Lighting is on for its 27th annual showing under what appear to be seasonally ideal conditions Friday night.

Details are below.

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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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