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RED BANK: MENNA TUGS REINS ON HORSES

Prince, from Dream Horse Carriage Rides, pulls a carriage through downtown Red Bank in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mayor Pasquale Menna thinks having horses pull tourist carriages through downtown Red Bank during the Christmas holiday season is “inhumane.”

He said so at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting, when he formally appointed an Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and asked that it look into ending the annual rides.

What does the owner of the horses think?

“Oh, not this idiocy again,” said Tania Lawson, owner of Dream Horse Carriage Rides in Jackson Township.

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RED BANK: FREE HOLIDAY PARKING IN EFFECT

rb-free-parking-121416LicPlate1A merchant we spoke to at the Galleria of Red Bank didn’t know this, so redbankgreen offers this reminder to all would-be shoppers: parking is free in all municipal spots, both on the street and in the lots, through December 25. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: HOLIDAY SHOWS ROCK THE BASIE

darlene-loveRock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love, above, and not-so-secret Santa Brian Kirk, below, return to the Count Basie stage for their respective holiday shows this Friday and Saturday.

brian-kirkA holiday tradition bit the fake-snow dust in 2014, when a retiring David Letterman hosted musical guest Darlene Love in her umpteenth and final annual performance of the soaring “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

But Red Bank audiences can vouch that Ms. Love and her Christmas-pop signature are alive and well. And when the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer returns to the Count Basie Theatre stage this Friday,  she’ll bring along some special friends with a Jersey Shore connection — while kicking off a weekend that boasts another special sleighride from a locally homegrown Santa: Brian Kirk.

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RED BANK: A SNOOZING SANTA?

rb santa 121415Santa Claus appeared to be saving his energy for later this month as an unidentified woman carried him in her arms on Rector Place in Red Bank Monday afternoon. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

 

RED BANK: TREE GETS PARKED & TRIMMED

rb christmas tree 112215rb tree 112315A crane lowered this year’s Red Bank Town Tree into place in Riverside Gardens Park Saturday, as seen in this reader photo taken from the Riverview Towers high-rise.

At right, trimming of the tree got underway Monday morning.

The 30-foot tree was donated by the D’Innocenzio family of Middletown, according to Red Bank RiverCenter, which arranged for the donation and installation.  (Photo at right by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: THANKSGIVING SIDES AND SWEETS

111715semprecannoli1Seasonal treats from Red Bank include pumpkin-filled cannolis from Sempre Cannoli, above, and pumpkin truffles from Chocolate Works, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

111715chocolateworks1Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or you’ve been invited to a feast, making everyone happy can be tricky.

Were you asked to bring a side dish or dessert? Do you need a hostess gift? PieHole has you covered with a cornucopia of sweet treats and savory sides available in the pumpkin-tinged town of Red Bank.
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RED BANK: CHRISTMAS TREE WANTED

112414 tree2Got a spare blue spruce in your yard? Yes, temperatures may still be pushing 80 degrees, but Red Bank RiverCenter has put out a call in the hope that, like the Clay family of Holmdel, who donated the 2014 Christmas tree above, someone will pony up one for the coming holiday season.

The ideal tree is an evergreen at least 25 feet tall and accessible for cutting—not too close to buildings or wires. The tree will be moved at no cost to the donor on or about November 22 for installation in Riverside Gardens Park, RiverCenter said in a news release. For more information, call Jim Scavone at 732-842-4244.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

ON THE GREEN: ROSH HASHANAH TREATS

090915roshhashana3This week, PieHole shopped the Greater Red Bank Green for Rosh Hashanah eats, and came up with a selection that’s like to appeal to tastebuds of many persuasions. Take it here for the rundown to Sunday’s sundown, when the holiday commences (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

 

JEWISH NEW YEAR: A GOURMET ROUNDUP

090915roshhashana3Three light dessert cakes from Antoinette Boulangerie, above, and a box of honeybee and apple cake pops from Lil Cutie Pops make tasteful gifts.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090915roshhashana4Delectable and symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the Jewish New Year that begins at sundown on Sunday are popping up all around the Greater Green.

Preparing a holiday dinner for a few or many, finding the right ingredients and cooking all day can often take the fun out of the feast. PieHole has done some of the legwork for you, rounding up sources for pre-made dinners, desserts, hostess gifts and basics for a sweet new year.

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RED BANK: SWITCH ADDS COLLECTION DAYS

delisa 090315HOT-TOPIC_03With the switch to private cartage last week, all homes in Red Bank have now had at least one pickup by DeLisa Demolition of Tinton Falls, which won a three-year, $1.49 million contract for collection of trash, recyclables and household bulk waste last month.

The change, borough officials said in advance, would have been all but unnoticed by residents. But there’s a perk or two, including — as some perplexed residents may have noticed on Labor Day holiday pickups.

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AT THE DUB: IRISH COFFEE THE IRISH WAY

022615 Dublin house1A traditional Irish Coffee at the Dublin House. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

dublin house 022013There was a time, not so long ago, when most restaurants would hand their customers a menu of coffee-based, alcohol-laced, sweetened beverages at the end of a meal. But food and drink styles are as susceptible to change as runway garb, and tend to be described in the same way. Does your taste go to something retro or classic? Or are you always looking for the next new thing?

Café mocha double lattes may come and go, but there are some classic drinks that are always in style. And with stores bedecked in shades of green reminding us that the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday is on its way, PieHole went in search of an old standard at the Dublin House Pub on Monmouth Street in Red Bank.

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LINCROFT: FASHIONABLY, FESTIVELY LATE

MM galleryThe Holiday Gift Gallery at Monmouth Museum returns on Tuesday — and continues through January 11 — for the benefit of late-blooming gifters.

For something that seems to start as early as Back to School Days, the holiday shopping season never seems to have enough hours and days loaded up on the back end. It’s not so much that “we need a little Christmas, right this very moment” — it’s that we need a lot more moments, right now and on into the new calendar year.

It’s for straggling souls that one of the Red Bank area’s unsung treasures, the Monmouth Museum, maintains an annual Holiday Gift Gallery that offers up eleventh-hour shopportunities beginning Tuesday.

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RED BANK: FREE PARKING, STROLLING SANTAS

rb parking 121112Kiss the kiosks goodbye for the next two weeks:. Visitors to downtown Red Bank will get a pass on having to pay for parking starting Thursday and running through December 25. The annual moratorium applies to lot and curb spaces, according to Red Bank RiverCenter.

The downtown promotion agency will host an “open house” throughout the business district Thursday night, featuring store sales, refreshments, carolers, and the Barbizon Holiday Mannequins. New this year: strolling Santas, available to grace your selfies. (Photo by John T. Ward; click to enlarge)

HOLIDAY FOOD TRADITIONS? DO TELL!

120314 davis rhubarb cakeRhubarb coffee cake baked in the kitchen of Red Bank resident Sue Davis. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumLike Tevye, in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ PieHole has tradition on its mind this holiday season.

We’re calling on all home cooks and bakers to share with us the holiday food traditions that grace your table every year.

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RUMSON: WARMING UP A CHILLY NIGHT

120714 rumson xmas4Tim McLoone, flanked by Rudolph, Santa and Frosty, rocked the gazebo in Victory Park. Rudolph also made the rounds in the crowd, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

120714 rumson xmas11 Victory Park was awash in lights and music as Tim McLoone and the Shirleys headed up Rumson’s Christmas tree lighting Sunday night.

Mayor John Ekdahl nominated a second-grader from the Deane Porter School to perform the task of pushing the button to light the tree and the Tower singers from Rumson-Fair Haven High School offered a selection of holiday tunes while Linda Walton’s catering company helped the crowd ward off the night’s chill with hot chocolate and home baked cookies.

Were you among those singing-in the holiday season? Check below for more pictures.

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RED BANK: SANTA & KIDS HUDDLE IN THE RAIN

rb tree lighting 120614Santa Claus and friends attempted to find some shelter from the rain as Red Bankers gathered for the annual West Side Tree Lighting at the pocket park on Shrewsbury Avenue Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GOING?

rb portapotty 120414A portapotty on Branch Avenue in Red Bank bedecked in the holiday spirit Thursday morning. Leave your best puns in the comments below. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: TREE’S UP

112414 tree2holiday tree 112314Donated by the Clay family of Holmdel, Red Bank’s 2014 Christmas tree arrived at Riverside Gardens Park overlooking the Navesink River on Sunday. Becker’s Tree Service and Powerhouse Signs did the installation. The lights and trimming will go on this week courtesy of Investors Savings. Red Bank RiverCenter, which organized the display, says the tree will be lit and decorated in time for the annual Holiday Express concert and townwide light-up Friday night.  (Photo above by Susan Ericson; right photo courtesy of Red Bank RiverCenter. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: FESTIVE LIGHTS WINNERS NAMED

rb cohen lights 010714A dozen Red Bank kids led by children’s advocate David Prown chose the winners of this season’s festive lighting contest, sponsored by the borough Parks & Rec department and announced at Wednesday night’s council meeting. First prize went to the Cohen family of 32 South Street, above. Prizes included gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, including Prown’s Home Improvement, Boondocks Fishery, Teak and Foodtown. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: JEWELER FEELING THE VIBE

alexandani 2 122013alexandani 1 122013Alex and Ani, the Red Bank jewelry store with crystals embedded in its walls for positive spiritual energy, has been feeling the spirit of the season in recent days, with so many customers that it has to limit the number who can enter at any one time, said store employee John Pal, who was manning the door Friday afternoon. Amanda Warnock, right, was there for some more bracelets. (Click to enlarge)

 

TREE LIGHTINGS TO LIGHT UP THE GREEN

sb-train-4-120512Tree lightings, such as the annual ceremony in Sea Bright, bring light therapy to the Green this weekend. Below, an archived favorite shot from the 2008 Westside tree lighting in Red Bank.

westside-tree-2008Tree lightings! We’ve got ’em, and in such quantities this weekend that you’d think they grew on trees.

Fair Haven kicks things off Friday evening with something old-school traditional — the 5:30 pm arrival of Santa Claus by firetruck, at Memorial Park (across River Road from Borough Hall), followed at 6 pm by the turn-on of the official tree, accompanied by live music from The Band of the Two Rivers. There’s also something new — a Holiday Stroll promotion in which “stores and businesses will be offering shopping, free food and beverages, attractions, and fun for kids throughout the River Road East business district” between the hours of 5 pm and 7:30.

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IT’S DANISH FOR ‘SLOW FOOD MARATHON’

Lone Kofod of the Danish Cafe pronounces “Julefrokost” so you can go to Denmark and crash a corporate holiday party or two. Or just go to the one in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click here to play movie if the above doesn’t work.)

By JIM WILLIS

danish cafeWhen Piehole first heard that the Danish Café in Red Bank was hosting a ‘Julefrokost‘ event, we spent about a minute guessing at the meaning and pronunciation before turning to Google to learn that it’s a Danish word for a holiday food marathon of sorts celebrated around the holidays.

We’re not much for running marathons, but food marathons are right up our alley. So we quickly headed to the Galleria Red Bank to check in with Lone Kofod, who owns the café with her husband, Claudi, to get the details on the event.

“It’s a typical holiday thing in Denmark,” says Kofod. “A lot of business have Julefrokost for a Christmas dinner for their employees. They have that during the holidays as a company Christmas party. During the Christmas days, Danish families will also have Julefrokost meal.”

The Danish Cafe will be holding at least two Julefrokost meals at its comfortable Galleria space this season, on Saturday, November 30 and Friday, December 6.  “If we fill up those two dates, which we almost have, we will do a third event,” says Kofod.

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FAIR HAVEN DOORS OPEN FOR SANDY VICTIMS

Among the homes on Friday’s tour is this one on Harvard Road. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

A holiday tradition and one of the key fundraisers for the Fair Haven School District, the Fair Haven PTA’s biennial house tour typically draws some 300 community members, with proceeds supporting the educational programs in the borough school system.

This year’s edition, though, is focused on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Attendees at the event, which takes place Friday, are encouraged to donate new kitchen and household items, as well as gift cards to housewares stores, for those who lost their essentials in the storm.

“We thought it would be a unique way of supporting the hundreds of two-river area home owners who lost or sustained severe damage to their homes,” said tour co-chair Lauren Steets. “Most of us know at least one local family who is suffering now as a result of the storm, and we all want to help in some way.”

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