ON THE GREEN: TOUCH A TRUCK — OR COPTER

092014 touchtruck19The kids are in the driver’s seat once more this Saturday at the annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser in Red Bank, while Middletown Day offers an opportunity to get hands-on with a NorthSTAR emergency helicopter (below).

middletown-day-copter“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Monmouth Day Care Center exec director Heidi Zaentz — and this Saturday, they’ll have an opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with various trucks, tractors, and emergency vehicles — even an emergency Medevac helicopter at a couple of big yearly events that have become major fundraising vehicles in their own right.

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MIDDLETOWN: HELPERS BEE QUILTING

Rebecca's Reel QuiltThis queen-size bed quilt created by the members of Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild will be raffled off on May 14, as part of the nonprofit’s fundraiser Quilt Show at Poricy Park.

Press release from Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild

The nonprofit Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild is proud to hold their biennial, judged Quilt Show, taking place Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 10 AM at Poricy Park Conservancy, Oak Hill Road in Middletown.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. both days, more than 160 quilts will be on exhibit in four buildings, including the historic Murray Farmhouse and Barn. Quilts on display range from miniature to king size in a wide variety of styles, and a number of the quilts – including decorative wall hangings, lap and bed quilts — will be available for purchase. A queen-sized bed quilt will be raffled on Saturday, and numerous decorative quilted wall hangings will be raffled on Friday and Saturday, with a portion of the purchase prices and the raffle proceeds supporting the work of the Guild.

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AROUND THE GREEN: OUTSIDE THE BIG BOX

Bazaar_basketsSilent auction gift baskets await inspection during the recent Holiday Bazaar at Christ Church in Shrewsbury. For those who missed it, there are many more craft shows, artisan fairs and gift boutiques going on around the greater Green this weekend.

There’s an open-house glimpse into the wondrous workshop of a leading Red Bank artist. Unique handcrafted gifts, unexpectedly encountered at a pair of county parks in Middletown. Floral arrangements in Shrewsbury; fine art pieces by the area’s best-known creatives in Little Silver. All around the villages and hamlets of the greater Red Bank Green, a dedicated core of neighbors seeks to combat the seasonal brainfreeze of “shopper’s block;” seeding inspiration for gift-givers who want to think outside the big-box store for the special ones on their list — and it’s all happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Just weeks after hosting her annual Art Show and Sale at Mudslingers Pottery, master potter Lauren Bellero takes part in a special Holiday Open House event this Friday, December 5. Between the hours of 3 to 9 pm, shoppers on a quest for something truly unique can visit 12 Oak Street in Lincroft to select from a display of the artist’s award winning pit-fired decorative creations (candle holders, vases, bowls and more) and glazed cookware — or visit the Mudslingers website to make an appointment.

Open for business at picturesque Poricy Park this weekend, the Nature Conservancy’s Holiday and Craft Shop offers up an array of locally sourced wood, pottery, crochet, fine art and home decor items, available for purchase between the hours of 11 am to 4 pm on December 5, 6 and 7. They’ll be doing it all again next weekend too, with shop hours on December 12, 13 and 14 — but there’s much more to see this weekend, with details around the bend.

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MIDDLETOWN, SANDY HOOK: A GHOSTLY TRIO

FortHancockThe isolated, wind-whipped battlements of Fort Hancock are the setting for a moonlit tour of local lore and legend, (g)hosted by the American Littoral Society on October 30.

Laugh if you will at the tales of haunted places and half-buried secrets that form such a big part of our local cultural heritage. When the ghost stories have all been told, and attention spans wander back to the fast-paced, plugged-in Here and Now, that’s when the real fun begins — the walk outside in the dark; the uneasy trip back home, when sudden sounds encroach from all directions, and unidentifiable things skitter just off the edge of view.

The fun begins during daylight hours on Sunday, October 26, when Middletown Township Public Library welcomes the good people of the New Jersey Ghost Organization for a 2 pm reading that celebrates both the coming of Halloween and the Garden State’s “NJ350” birthday year. The Ghost Org guests will read from their latest book, Folklore of the New Jersey Shore, with signing copies available for perusal and purchase — and a set of “haunted artifacts” on display. Still, if the sworn-testimony tales of spectral apparitions and other unexplained phenomena fail to set your nerves on edge, stick around Middletown after dark — and take part in a nocturnal tour of one the greater Red Bank Green’s most history- and mystery-shrouded places.

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