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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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Dip a toe into the first wave of “zero waste” art…stick a finger into the winds of environmental activism…try one’s hand at any of the many recreational pursuits of coastal life as Local Summer continues apace on and near the ocean, bay and riverfront shores of our local parks.

The people at the Monmouth County Arts Council define “zero waste” art as that which uses all available materials; creating new objects of beauty and inspiration from formerly discarded castoffs — and when the first-ever Zero Waste Arts Fest comes to the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook this weekend, September 17 and 18, there won’t be a wasted moment or a wasted opportunity for family-friendly fun. Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, the festival highlights partnerships between locally based artists, art galleries and environmental activism organizations, as well as an interactive “live art” project coordinated by Lisa Bagwell (whose recycled-materials sculptures are a colorful and clever commentary on our disposable consumer culture). There’s live music (from Red Bank’s Rockit Live and others), kids’ activities, informative displays from a host of partner organizations, plus giveaways, shuttle bus tours of the Hook, and a whole lot more (including an after-hours Saturday night “1940s swing event” under the stars). Take it here to the All Good section of redbankgreen, for full details on events and entertainers, plus a complete rundown of participating co-sponsors and presenters.

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wagRiverside Gardens is the scene on the evening of Saturday, September 17, when Red Bank Parks and Recreation and co-sponsor Riverview Medical Center host a first annual Concert for the Kids in support of youth sports programs. Two popular area-based bands — The Wag (pictured; 5:30 p.m.) and Woodfish (7:30 p.m.) will help “ensure that any child who wants to play sports or attend our camps is able to do so, even if their family is facing a financial hardship,” in the words of Parks and Rec’s Charlie Hoffman. There’s no admission charge to attend the event, but a suggested donation of $10 is welcome.


rb movies park 072616 2Outdoor movie screenings and canoe rentals highlight a week of outdoor offerings in local parks.

Thompson Park canoePay no attention to those displays of back-to-school supplies, and put aside all thoughts of pre-season football, post-season baseball, and campaign-season roller derby. Yes, the summer of 2016 is still a thing (even at the Rio Olympics, where technically it’s winter), and the parks, beaches and portable stages of the Greater Red Bank Green still offer a plethora of open-air entertainments and recreational options in the coming days and nights — almost all of them free of charge.

It begins tonight, as Shore Flicks returns to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens with an 8:15 p.m. screening of a truly golden oldie, 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring a canned food donation with those folding chairs and beach towels, pick up some cooling seasonal treats from Gracie and the Dudes, and enjoy Dorothy and the Dudes as they once again undertake the screen’s most memorable road trip. Follow Shore Flicks on Facebook or Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on weather-related cancellations or other schedule changes (including a recently added batch of fishy features at Sea Bright’s Municipal Beach) — then take it around the bend for more fun beneath the sun and stars.

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rb movies park 071916 6rb snack bar 071916A combination of cool weather, a family-friendly film, virtual Pokémon characters popping up on cellphones all over the place, a newly opened ice cream stand and of course that gorgeous sunset drew hundreds to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park for a movies-in-the-park screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Tuesday night. 

Parks and Rec Director Charlie Hoffmann said the crowd may have been the largest ever for the weekly summer series presented by Shore Flicks.

Up next in the series: “Zootopia,” followed on August 2 by “Jaws,” in connection with this summer’s 100th anniversary of the Monmouth County shark attacks that inspired the film. The rest of the schedule is here, and Hoffmann reminds attendees that canned food goods are accepted for donation to to Lunch Break and other local charities. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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rb rgp yoga 091615 3Yoga, Pilates and zumba share a Wednesday night rotation schedule in Riverside Gardens Park. Below, vocalist Layonne Holmes joins the New Standard for a free concert there Thursday night. 
Layonne Holmes New Standard

Whether you’re on stay-cation — or simply navigating your way through daily life here in on the Greater Red Bank Green — there’s no denying that July offers a fairly awesome menu of open-air entertainments and recreational options. We’ve got a rundown of outdoor events — mostly free of charge — designed to entice you out of the house in the coming midsummer nights and days.

It all starts tonight, July 12, as Shore Flicks returns to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens with an 8:15 p.m. screening of the gleefully anarchic animation “Minions.” Bring a canned food donation with those folding chairs and beach towels, and enjoy some ice cream from the newly opened Gracie and the Dudes stand in the park. Take it to our redbankgreen roundup for details on the entire summer screening schedule and weather-related updates. Then take it around the bend for more fun and adventure beneath the summer sun and stars.

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jurassic_world_still_6Stake out a place on the grass; bring a food drive donation and enjoy the ride, as free summer movies return to Riverside Gardens Park on July 5 with a screening of the blockbuster JURASSIC WORLD.

“Just picture perfect…a beautiful backdrop” is how T.J. Brustowicz of Shore Flicks described Riverside Gardens Park, the open-air setting for a summertime series of free feature film screenings (presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation) that enters its ninth season this coming Tuesday, July 5.

Even with Brustowicz and his Shore Flicks crew bringing their pumped-up inflatable screens and beefed-up sound systems to beaches, parks and community centers all over Monmouth County, there’s no arguing that the sculpted terraces and waterfront walkways of Red Bank’s Gardens represent the Shore’s premier place to catch your favorite cinematic stars beneath the stars. From the super sight lines of the sloping lawn to those complimentary Navesink River sunsets — and even the busy energy from the nearby Front Street main drag — it’s an experience you’ll be hard pressed to match anywhere else. And, with the anticipated opening of the new Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream at the park’s (historically under-utilized) snack bar, the stage is set for a family friendly diversion that continues Tuesday evenings through August 23.

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Zoo_trip_flyerEven as the Easter Bunny preps for the fast-paced frolic that is the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Red Bank’s Eastside Park (going on at high noon this Saturday, March 19), the folks at Red Bank Parks and Recreation have a couple of other springtime goodies for the finding, if local residents know where to look.

The hours are counting down for the March 15 deadline to register for a Spring Break Family Trip, to Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. Scheduled for the morning and early afternoon of Wednesday, March 30, the bus excursion offers local children and their adult caregivers an opportunity to visit the park and nature center that’s been a favorite of New Jersey families for generations. A per-person cost of $22 includes round trip transportation (attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, as the park’s food facilities are currently closed due to renovations). Space is limited and time is running out, so click the graphic for details on signing up — and read on for more.

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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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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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Motor CityLayonne Holmes (right) and the Motor City Revue roar into Sandy Hook as the up-next act in the summer beach concert series. Weather permitting, Tuesday night marks the twice-scheduled debut of Red Bank’s Dog Days of Summer.

rb dogs 061714 6[UPDATE, July 20, 2 p.m. Once again, the Dog Days event is being postponed, this time because of high temperatures, RiverCenter announced. The event is tentatively scheduled to be held Wednesday, July 22, at 6 p.m.]

Gripe all you will about summer traffic, summer crowds, summer expenses: the season for warm-weather diversion can seem especially fleeting when viewed through the frosted panes of our extended polar-vortex winters. And between Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon, we’ve got a whole range of excuses for getting out of the house, beginning with the latest in the 2015 series of Red Bank Dog Days of Summer .

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bball_irThe Borough of Red Bank’s Parks and Recreation Department has announced a partnership with Jersey Fusion Basketball to present a Sports Performance Training (SPT) program for Red Bank boys and girls of high school and middle school ages. The free basketball training program offers an opportunity to sharpen and acquire new skills, in advance of the high school tryouts that begin November 24-26 this year.

The program is free to all Red Bank residents attending grades 7 to 12 at the following schools: Red Bank Regional High School, Red Bank Middle School, Red Bank Charter School, and St. James School. Sessions will be held from 6 to 8 pm at Red Bank Regional this Friday, November 14, and again on Friday, November 21. Red Bank residents can register in advance by simply sending a reply email to MCrystian@redbanknj.org.

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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.)


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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sherriBobbieKingsleyKindie-rock favorite Sherri Ehrlich sings for grownups in an encore appearance at Thursday’s Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens. (Photo by Bobbie Kingsley)

A generation of kids knows her as Miss Sherri: a frequent presence at family-friendly festivals and all-ages venues around the greater Green as the top-hatted ringleader to the various parrots, pups, gators and girl-group giraffes that comprise the Little Animal Band.

But Sherri Ehrlich has a post-bedtime gig that finds the onetime proprietor of Red Bank’s Honey Child Music moonlighting as a whole ‘nother musical creature known as Sherri Pie.

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From press materials by Red Bank Parks and Recreation 

SUMMER BASEBALL FLYERRed Bank boys and girls who are interested in sharpening their baseball and softball skills still have time to register for a program of free clinics, presented by the borough Parks and Recreation department.

Scheduled to begin this Saturday, August 2, the four-week program will continue weekends through August 31 at Count Basie Fields, and will include a combination of skills work and intra-squad scrimmages. All sessions are offered free of charge, and registration is as easy as signing up at the field, on the day of the clinics.

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Sweet WhiskeyVocalist Maggie Worsdale fronts the Sweet Whiskey Band in a set of “Songs Under the Influence,” Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater. (photo by Roberto Muolo)

April may be National Jazz Appreciation Month  — a fact driven home locally and yearly by Joe Muccioli‘s Talkin’ Jazz series at the Count Basie Theatre — but things really heat up jazzwise in this Basie-birthing borough during the month of July, an interlude during which several weekends’ worth of Summer Jazz cafe events at Two River Theater are keynoted by open-air Thursdays at Riverside Gardens’ Jazz in the Park series.

The 2014 slate of outdoor concerts (presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department) continues on the evening of July 24 in a classically cool vein, when drummer Darwin B. Oden and his combo return to the banks of the Navesink for some improvisatory, exploratory sets ‘neath the setting sun and stars. The music kicks in at 7:30 pm (weather permitting; call Parks and Rec at 732-530-2782 for day-of-show updates); bring lawn chairs or blankets, and dress comfy casual  — then go home, get dressed for a sophisticated night on the town, and reconvene at Two River for an extra special Friday and Saturday session.

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funktionThe eleven-piece showband Funktion 11 crowds the stage of Riverside Gardens Thursday evening as the Jazz in the Park series continues.

Call them a showband — the kind that can rock the roof off any wedding, corporate event or casino lounge. The kind that makes a big sound just by standing there; a band with so many people in it, they don’t even have a name to describe what comes after nonet and dectet.

When Funktion 11 takes the portable stage at Riverside Gardens in Red Bank this Thursday night, it will bring its in-your-face mix of soul classics, Motown milestones and vintage hits (by big horny rock bands like the Ides of March) back to the banks of the Navesink, as the latest in the 2014 Jazz in the Park series.

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outdoorfit5-fanelli2011Whether you make your home in Red Bank or make a living here, the free weekly Wednesday evening fitness classes at Riverside Gardens Park are an energizing alternative to rush-hour traffic. (Photo by Peter Lindner) 

Yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi and Pilates are the order of the evening — in a setting that’s both attuned to relaxing riverside vistas and plugged into the energy of downtown Red Bank — as a new Wednesday evening series of free fitness classes continues at Riverside Gardens Park.

Conducted by instructors from the Community YMCA from 6 to 7 pm, the free outdoor sessions are presented in partnership with Red Bank Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign — and they’re open to anyone who lives and/or works in the borough.

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If you’re a soccer- (sorry, football) obsessed boy or girl between the ages of 8 and 14, the borough-based Red Bank Football Club invites you to take part in a morning of tryouts for the upcoming season, this Saturday, May 17. It’s not necessary to be a resident of Red Bank to join in the fun — all you need to do is bring your cleats, shin guards, water, and team spirit to the football stadium field at Count Basie Park on Henry Street,  from 9 am to 12 pm.

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rb street fair 041413A first responder benefitting spring edition of Street Fair returns to Red Bank Sunday while, below, the one and only GROUCHO goes wild, in the person of Frank Ferrante, Friday night at the Basie. 

grouchoRED BANK: “We all want to be Groucho,” Frank Ferrante told us a few seasons back, “to be that wild, irreverent pulverizer of those in power.”

In the acclaimed stage show An Evening with Groucho, the actor-director gets to be all that and more, as his spot-on channeling of the classic comic force of nature Groucho Marx comes to the Count Basie Theatre for the first time. Performed with piano accompaniment, minimal set and trademark makeup, the 90-minute, all-ages friendly tour de farce mixes canonical Marxist quotes, anecdotes from a life in show business, signature silly songs (“Hooray for Captain Spalding,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady”), and — in a bracingly contemporary touch — an interactive element that finds Ferrante/Groucho duckwalking the theater aisles. “Fully one-third of it is improvised,” says Ferrante. “That’s what Groucho’s magic was, really – the ability to create comedy on the spot.” Get your tickets ($19 – $49) right here — and when you take it ’round the corner for more Weekender wonderment, tell ’em Groucho sent you.

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David Prown of Prown’s Home Improvement will be providing free equipment for young Red Bank residents who take part in the spring season sports programs of Red Bank Parks and Recreation, every Sunday from this weekend through the end of May. Read on for details. (2011 file photo by Dustin Racioppi)

For school-age kids, saying there’s “nothing to do” is no longer an option — not with Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Track and Field, Lacrosse, and Camp on the schedule for the coming months. And for those who say they’ve “got no gear” — well, it turns out that’s no longer an excuse either.

Even adults who are in need of working off some of that winter wonderweight will be hard pressed to find reasons why not, as Red Bank Recreation announces a full seasonal slate of programs for borough residents of all ages.

It’s a season that begins this weekend, with the March 29 start of Developmental Lacrosse League activities — to say nothing of the looming registration deadlines for several of the other programs and services offered. There’s still time for Red Bank boys and girls to join players from all local towns in a “Count Basix” Spring Lacrosse Clinic, designed for both beginners and more advanced players of one of America’s fastest growing youth sports. Coaches from United Lacrosse will be on hand at Count Basie Field on Henry Street for eight Saturday sessions that commence on Saturday morning and continue through May 24 — a “fun and energizing environment” that hosts sessions for players in grades 5 to 8 between 10 and 11:30 am, with grades K through 4 taking the field from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Participants can bring their own equipment (helmet, stick, gloves, shoulder pads, arm/elbow pads and mouthpiece for boys; protective eyewear, stick and mouthpiece for girls) or it can be provided by the program. Cost for the Count Basix lacrosse clinic is $45-$55 for Red Bank residents depending on age group, and $150-$200 for non-residents. Call (732)530-2783 to get in on the action this weekend — and click READ MORE for the rundown on all other seasonal programs from Red Bank Rec.

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The Red Bank Community Garden is growing into its second year — and Chairwoman Annie Jones, along with Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, are looking forward to a jam packed 2014 growing season full of educational and inspirational events at the Marion Street Community Garden .

On Wednesday, March 5th at 7 pm, the Red Bank Community Garden will kick off the growing season with the first of many lectures and demonstrations  at the Red Bank Public Library. Master Gardener Carolyn Heuser will speak on “Vegetable Gardening with an Organic Twist,”during the free presentation that starts at 7 pm.

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From press materials furnished by Red Bank Recreation

There’s just one day before the January 3 sign-up deadline for Red Bank Recreation’s 2014 Indoor Soccer programs — and, according to RB Rec director Memone P. Chrystian, there are numerous ways for kids and adults of all ages to get involved with this  popular wintertime activity.

frankcocchiRegistrations are currently being accepted for participants in the 2014 season of “Games Only” play that commences on Sunday, January 12 and runs through March 23. It’s a ten-week slate of 50 minute games, hosted inside the gymnasium at Red Bank Middle School on Sundays (except for the holiday weekend dates of January 19 and February 16). Games are organized in four grade level groups for young players — Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 5th through 8th — as well as a division for High School players, introduced for the first time this year by popular demand.

“Every year we get a flood of people who want to register in the last days leading up to the start of the program,” explained Chrystian in an emailed announcement. “Please ask them not to wait…anyone who registers after January 3 will have to go on a waiting list.

Registrations are also still being taken for this year’s Indoor Soccer “Work with a Trainer” sessions, conducted by professional soccer trainer Frank Cocchi of The Next Level Ball Mastery Program (pictured) and hosted in the Middle School gym on Saturday afternoons beginning January 11.

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xmas-lights1-500x375A Shrewsbury Avenue residence is highlighted for the holidays, in a 2010 file image. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

For the fifth consecutive year, the Borough of Red Bank is on the lookout for “the most festive homes of the season,” as the Holiday Home Decorating Contest enters its home stretch. The competition — with awards given for exterior decorations only — will be judged on the evening of Friday, December 20, and awards will be presented during the Council meeting scheduled for January 8, 2014.

To be considered for judging, Red Bank residents must register before Friday via fax at (732)933-4282, via email at recreation@redbanknj.org, or in person at the Parks and Recreation office, on the 2nd floor of 90 Monmouth Street. To register, please include your name, address, phone number and email address.

Winners will receive gift certificates from a number of Red Bank businesses, including Super Foodtown, Teak, Bistro, Prown’s Home Improvements and more.





rb-easter-huntOn a cold, wind-whipped afternoon, it took borough children all of about 90 seconds to charge through Eastside Park and collect all the eggs during Red Bank’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)