RED BANK: A HALLOWED TRADITION TURNS 69

rb halloween 101815 43The annual Red Bank Halloween Parade takes to the pavement this Sunday for another colorful display of cosplay and community pride.

rb halloween 101815 10It came in on the leading edge of the Baby Boom wave, way back in 1948 — and when the Red Bank Halloween Parade presents its 69th annual edition this Sunday, October 23, it will represent that rare local custom that’s claimed anew by each succeeding generation of miniature monster, licensed pop-culture character, or float-riding reveler.

A presentation of the borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation, this most enduring (and endearingly nutty) of civic events offers a much-needed fixed point of reference to regular readers of redbankgreen‘s “Retail Churn” and other chroniclers of our ever-evolving town. Together with additional long-running attractions like the warm-weather Riverfest and holiday-season Town Lighting, it’s an all-ages, real-world chance to connect with the community — with an option to dress up, decorate the kiddie stroller (or pet carrier), or simply trick-or-treat yourself to a chance to cheer on the people in your neighborhood.

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RED BANK: A COLORFUL TRADITION CONTINUES

rb halloween 101815 4rb halloween 101815 40Turnout was noticeably down from recent years, but the 68th annual Red Bank Halloween Parade held Sunday still drew a large, creative and colorful array of costumed marchers.

Take it around the “read more” corner for 48 additional slices of color from the event, and then click one to enlarge and scroll through them all. (Photo by John T.Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: A HALLOWED TRADITION RETURNS

halloween 2011 5Classic goblins, licensed characters and some fanciful floats take over downtown Red Bank Sunday, when the Halloween Parade returns for its 68th annual edition. (Photo by John T.Ward. Click to enlarge.)

halloween 2011 3It’s an event in which “ghosts, goblins, cops, robbers and old cowhands make with the whoopee” — or so said the old Red Bank Register, when it reported on the borough’s very first Halloween Carnival and Parade back in 1948.

The colorful civic event has been fine-tuned considerably since then, having done away with a Saturday night community party and a march that passed through every neighborhood in town. But for the past few generations, the Sunday afternoon centerpiece of the seasonal celebration has staked its place among the area’s most hallo’d traditions. And this Sunday, the costumed characters, fire trucks, marching bands and fanciful hand-decorated floats promenade once more down Broad Street, as the Red Bank Halloween Parade returns for its 68th annual edition.

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RED BANK: A HALLOWEEN HIKE FOR THE AGES

halloween 2011 10 Listen up, citizens of Gotham: the Red Bank Halloween Parade hits the street this Sunday for its 67th annual edition, filled with witches and goblins of all ages, and some spectacular floats, too. (Photos by John T.Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By TOM CHESEK

halloween 2011 5The year was 1948, and the place was Red Bank, New Jersey — where just a couple of months earlier, “Auld Lang Syne” bandleader Guy Lombardo’s speedboat took the trophy race in the National Sweepstakes Regatta on the Navesink. As the summer heat turned to October chill, thoughts were turning to the looming Dewey-vs.-Truman Presidential election; to a World Series that entered a fortunate few homes for the first time by the miracle of television; and to an altogether different hometown event: the Red Bank Halloween Carnival.

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WEEKEND: POP-UP CHILLS, TOP-DOWN THRILLS

halloween 2011 1The 66th annual Red Bank Halloween Parade assembles on East Bergen Place Sunday afternoon for its colorful walk downtown. Below, the Ghoul Scouts of Brookdale Haunted Theater commandeer the BCC PAC building for two weekends of wild walk-throughs. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, October 18:

haunted-theater-a-haunted-attraction-nj_4009LINCROFT:  The real-life horrors of Hurricane Sandy’s dark and drear aftermath forced even the ghouls and goblins to take a back seat last year — but undead and undaunted, they rise again for another seasonal go, as Brookdale Haunted Theater takes over the Performing Arts Center for two big weekends, in a presentation created and performed by past and present members of the school’s Theater Club program. For a ticket price of $10 ($8 seniors, $5 kids and students), patrons are ushered into the PAC’s auditorium (parking lot 2 on the Lincroft campus), split into groups of 10 to 15, and guided through a winding corridor that features live-action dioramas, scarifying skits and the dreaded POP-UP, which is to horror as the PUN is to humor. The creepy crew runs tour groups through its backstage maze of interactive fright environments beginning 7 pm, Friday through Sunday nights (October 18 to 20 and 25 to 27), with “Not-So-Haunted” Scareless tours for younger crowds running from 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Brookdale staff and students with current ID will be admitted for a bargain-dungeon price of $5, during a special “private screaming” session on Thursday, October 24. Tickets available at the creaking door; more info at (732) 224-2411.

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