FIRST NIGHT OF THE FIREWORKS FAIR

KaBoomfest, the new three-night slate of events leading up to the 51st annual Red Bank fireworks show Saturday night, kicked off Thursday night with the opening of a traveling amusement park on West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park.

Photographer Peter Lindner was there for redbankgreen. Were you? He may have caught you in his pixels, so check out these pix. And please remember: this is a community-supported event, so look for those yellow buckets and Kick in for KaBoom!

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

KABOOM READIES FOR THREE-DAY SPECTACLE

kaboom-rides-062910A Ferris wheel and other rides were set up Tuesday in a vacant lot opposite Riverside Gardens Park. (Click to enlarge)

Now taking shape on West Front Street in Red Bank: a carnival of sorts.

Six rides, five games and chance and booths offering midway fare such as cotton candy began setting up in a vacant lot opposite Riverside Gardens Park yesterday, giving shape to an expanded KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink that this year runs for three days instead the traditional single day.

Also on the bolstered agenda: a free concert in Marine Park featuring four acts, including “Crossing Jordan” star Jill Hennessy, now moonlighting as a singer-songwriter.

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MORE COPS & TRAINS SLATED FOR KABOOM

kaboom-711Part of the crowd overtook the parking lot of the 7-11 at Maple Avenue and West Front Street at last year’s KaBoom show. (Click to enlarge)

In the wake of rowdiness following last year’s KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink show, Red Bank and New Jersey Transit police are finalizing details for securing the borough train station for this year’s edition of the event, officials say.

Many of the 20 arrests made at last year’s show occurred after the event in the train station vicinity, where pushing and shoving flared up as revelers attempting to leave town by rail encountered a long boarding lines, officials say.

Police Chief Steve McCarthy tells redbankgreen that the train station will “absolutely” be an area of special attention, with more cops under the command of both the borough and NJT’s police department assigned to cover it.

In addition, the rail utility is putting on extra trains to address demand, and selling $6 day passes to speed boardings after the fireworks, says NJT spokesman Dan Stessel.

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DAM SITE REPAIR OFFICIAL: ‘WE’LL MAKE IT’

nrr-062410David Yegelwel, in brown pants at center, watches preparations for the installation of storm drain Wednesday. (Click to enlarge)

The mishap-plagued replacement of an earthen dam on Navesink River Road in Middletown will be completed in time to provide traffic relief for the July 3 KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink, a Monmouth County official tells redbankgreen.

That’s assuming, of course, that there are no more bursting water lines and other calamities of the kind that have beset the 12-week-old effort, says county bridge department supervisor David Yegelwel. His outlook also assumes no significant rain.

“We’ll make it,” Yegelwel said. “Our target is June 30.”

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KABOOM: NO, WE’RE NOT GIVING IT AWAY

kaboometer-061410With less than three weeks to go, Kaboom has quite a financial gap to fill, as indicated by this sign at Riverside Gardens Park on Monday. (Click to enlarge)

KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink, faced with a steep fundraising challenge this year because of the elimination of a Red Bank government subsidy, gave away $5,000 Monday.

It’s not what you think, though, organizers insist. Rather than coming out of the coffers of the nonprofit organization that hosts the annual fireworks show, the prize money for an essay contest in which schoolchildren competed was put up by a donor, Investors Savings Bank, says KaBoom chairman Peter Reinhart.

Moreover, he said, the “Tough Times Can’t Take Away Our Sparkle & Shine” contest, co-sponsored by the United Way of Monmouth County, took shape before Red Bank pulled the plug on free police protection and street cleanup following the annual event, forcing organizers to find some $60,000 they hadn’t had to raise in the past.

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OFFICIALS SAY KABOOM CLEANUP WAS SWIFT

potty-truckA worker loads a portable toilet onto a flatbed on Monmouth Street Monday morning as part of the final post-Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink cleanup.

George Lynch, a supervisor in the Red Bank public works department, said  an all-out effort by employees resulted in the debris-free reopening of Marine and Riverside Gardens parks by 7a Saturday.

By 9a, “you hardly knew something had happened” downtown, event chairman Peter Reinhart told a meeting of the borough special events committee Monday.

AN INCANDESCENT NIGHT ON THE RIVER

After spotty rains earlier in the day, the skies above Red Bank cleared in time Friday for the annual Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink display, which once again drew tens of thousands of visitors to town.

As usual, redbankgreen was there to document the event. Here are 99 shots taken before, during and after the fireworks. See how many faces you recognize, and be sure to tell your friends you saw ’em here.

Oh, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to see it return next year, please consider making a contribution to KaBoom here.

To enlarge the slideshow, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back here, hit your escape key.

KOUNTDOWN TO KABOOM: IT’S ON

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A shot from last year’s show.

just_inRed Bank Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels, who decides whether the fireworks are safe to go or not, tells redbankgreen that the Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink show “absolutely” will go on tonight.

Only winds over 20 mph or a “torrential” downpour will derail that plan, he says.

“We’ll shoot right through [a less than torrential rainfall] if we have to,” he says.

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GETTING AROUND FOR THE BIG SHOW

kaboomthrong
Food, fireworks, forgetting where you parked: it’s the biggest event of the year in Red Bank, drawing an estimated 100,000 people for one of the nation’s largest fireworks shows.

First, the weather forecast, as of 6a Friday:

Today: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. West wind between 6 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. West wind around 9 mph.

So conditions would appear to be favorable for tonight’s Kaboom Fireworks on the Navesink. An official decision will be made about whether to go ahead with or postpone the event at 2p; see below for more info.

If it’s a go, the annual challenge of getting into Red Bank, finding a viewing spot and getting out of town is on, too. Here’s some guidance on how to make the best of it.

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