dog days 072215 1All Dogs Go to Hollywood  as Red Bank RiverCenter presents the latest of its canine-friendly Dog Days events Tuesday evening.

RB DOG DAYS 073013 6At a time of year when Hollywood separates its summer blockbusters from its disappointing box-office dogs, the Tinseltown-canine connection is being celebrated in style on the streets of Red Bank, as the latest in the summer series of Dog Days promotions returns on Tuesday evening.

Hosted once again by Red Bank RiverCenter and the Borough of Red Bank, the 6-to-9 p.m. event is presented under the theme All Dogs Go to Hollywood, with a strolling array of dog-focused vendors, pup-positive downtown businesses and informational displays given a red-carpet twist: guest-star canines (and their human personal assistants) are invited to dress up and walk that carpet for a free photo op worthy of a big-time movie premiere, fun props included.

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rb sidewalk sale 3 072713Boxed bargains, folding-table finds and street-rack “steals” abound as the Sidewalk Sales returns to Red Bank this weekend for the 61st year.

rb sidewalk sale 8 072713It was a “diamond anniversary” event for which the Red Bank business community did it up grand – complete with a “pop-up museum” of historical memorabilia and a special “1950s fun” edition of the weekly StreetLife musical mashup. But how does “a cool little town” follow up a milestone like 2014’s 60th annual session of summertime Sidewalk Sale?

By forging ahead with the 61st annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, of course. Beginning today and running through late Sunday afternoon, one of the most firmly established community traditions enters its seventh decade as an all-welcome draw in those often lazy-hazy days of summer – not to mention a much-appreciated cornerstone of continuity, in an ever-evolving town that often transitions at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals can process.

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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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BoondocksBoondocks Fishery at Marine Park is just one of nearly 30 stops on and off the beaten path as the Food and Wine Walk events return for a new season. (Photo by Rachel Weston. Click to enlarge)

Calling all free-range foodies: the season for strolling smorgasbording and open-air culinary exploring is just now heating up, with the appearance of the first in 2015’s schedule of Red Bank Food and Wine Walks.


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081914 rbdogs4Canine visitors and their human handlers are invited to paws and relax when Red Bank Dog Days return for a new season Tuesday evening.

061714 dogs12[UPDATE: This event has been postponed to June 23 because of adverse weather forecasts.]

The interval known as the “dog days of summer” doesn’t occur until early July — and in fact, summer itself doesn’t officially begin until June 21. But in Red Bank, pet pooches and human handlers can get a leg up on the competition during the first in a new season of Dog Day evenings on Tuesday, June 16.

Presented by Red Bank RiverCenter and the borough of Red Bank on the third Tuesday of each summer month, the series takes place on Monmouth Street, which will be partially closed to vehicular traffic between the hours of 6 to 9 p.m.

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the wag 062114The Wag is among the musical acts taking to the sidewalks and storefronts of Red Bank’s business district as the annual Street Life series returns on Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Street Life vertIt represents a shuffle mix that ranges from Americana to ethnic, from Sweet Adeline harmonies to a friendly bit of harmonic dissonance. And when the homegrown phenomenon known as Red Bank StreetLife returns to the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts for a new season of summer evenings starting Saturday, it will also represent a literal shuffle, as self-guided musicphiles stroll or roll at their pleasure in search of locally sourced, Jersey-fresh sights and sounds.

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RBIFF 042714 32 The Weeklings, featuring Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger, below, are among the musical acts adding savour to the Sunday’s Red Bank International Flavour Festival on White Street. (Click to enlarge)

weeklingsIt’s positioned as a family-friendly, fresh-air celebration of international food, music, wine and beer — and it’s undeniably one of the more popular and successful seasonal attractions to pitch its tent in Red Bank within recent years.

Back for a fourth annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns this Sunday for an afternoon/ evening session that mixes many of the best-liked attributes of the old-time Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests.

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mayorsThe three living former mayors of Red Bank — Benedict Nicosia, Michael Arnone and Ed McKenna — join Mayor Pasquale Menna as guests of honor at the first annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, going on May 1st.

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee

Mayor Pat Menna is honoring three of his predecessors — and inviting the community — to the first annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball, scheduled for May 1st at The Oyster Point Hotel.

“Our committee is planning a great event and a fun evening, celebrating all things Red Bank,” noted the mayor.  “We are fortunate to have three former mayors — Judge Benedict Nicosia, Assemblyman Michael Arnone and Mayor Edward McKenna — still here in the area, and we will be honoring them for their public service.”

Other honorees include Red Bank RiverCenter, which will receive the Outstanding Community Service Award; the Two River Theater, the Cultural and Arts Award; Gerry Eisner, the Historical Legacy Award; Downtown Investors, the Urban Development Award; and Seals Eastern, the Manufacturing and Technology Award.

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112914 horseride3112914 horserideHorse-drawn-carriage rides returned for the Christmas season in downtown Red Bank last Saturday as excited children waited to greet the horse himself, who goes by the name of Prince.

Prince will be out every Saturday through December 20, from noon to 3 p.m., buoyed along his route by Holiday Harmonies, a mix of traditional carolers, choirs, brass bands, rock, folk, jazz & blues musicians presented by Red Bank RiverCenter. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

112914 horseride2



Tim and tree lighting with Karen CTim McLoone keynotes the season of lights in downtown Red Bank with the traditional Holiday Express outdoor concert on Black Friday.

tim-grinch-band-rblightingCharlie Brown, Ralphie, Rudolph – not a one ever concerned himself with the concept of “Black Friday” in their day. And when Red Bank celebrates its annual Holiday Express concert and Town Lighting this Friday night, it will do so with a curious new mission: to take back the purity, and the sanctity, of Black Friday.

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oysterfest-2010-1The Guinness Oysterfest returnS to downtown Red Bank Sunday for an afternoon of sunshine, food, music and eary-fall good spirits.

rb oysterfest 2 092312Although there are those who choose to shun it rather than shuck it, there’s no denying that the oyster has long been celebrated for its aphrodisiac properties. And when the bivalve’s paired with the brackish brew that’s been called “the Irish aphrodisiac” – —Guinness – well, what’s not to love?

Whether you’re a fishy aficionado or strictly landlubber’s menu, there’s much to sink your teeth into this Sunday, when the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street municipal parking for for a fifth annual edition. Presented by Red Bank RiverCenter and produced by RUEevents, it’s a seven-hour fleadh of food, music and stout that benefits a pair a pair of regional cancer treatment nonprofits — the Jane H. Booker Cancer Center at  Riverview Medical Center, and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ — in addition to helping fund the ongoing events and programs of the RiverCenter partnership.

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DancingNathanNathan shakin’: the fur-challenged but fancy-moving internet sensation Dancing Nathan is the special guest attraction at the final Red Bank Dog Days event of the summer, this Tuesday.

Capping a successful season (well, maybe with one wet-dog rainout) of Dog Day evenings, Red Bank RiverCenter and the Borough of Red Bank close out the series of monthly events with a special Doggie Carnival on Tuesday, August 19 from 6 to 9 pm — and a special celebrity guest star.

It’s Dancing Nathan, the bone-afide internet sensation who danced his way into America’s hearts with his signature moves to “Gangnam Style” in 2013.

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rb-sidewalk-sale-10-072713It’s the 60th annual edition of a local  favorite – and the organizers of the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale have a special stroll down memory lane built in to this year’s three-day event. 

rb sidewalk sale 8 072713While Red Bank remains an ever-evolving entity — sometimes at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals are prepared to digest — one summertime signifier of community life has been soldiering on, uninterrupted, for a frankly amazing 60 years. And in 2014, the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale marks its diamond anniversary  with a three-day thriftarama that takes a look back at some of what’s made this town so great and unique.

Think about it: back in 1955, President Ike was dispatching the first U.S. advisors into an obscure place called Vietnam. The Brooklyn Dodgers were gearing up to finally make “next year” a here-and-now reality. School-age kids were promised trips to that new Disneyland place, if they’d just hold still for the equally new polio vaccine. Folks from nearby communities such as New Shrewsbury flocked to the Carlton Theatre to see James Dean light up the screen in East of Eden. And the Red Bank Register reported that the town fathers were planning a study of the ongoing downtown parking issues (let’s hear one for continuity).

Those decades of borough history won’t be trampled underfoot, as scores of shoppers take to the sidewalks of Broad, Monmouth, Front and White streets in search of figurative “diamonds” — that bargain in a box, that folding-table find, that street-rack steal. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Red Bank Rivercenter celebrates the occasion with a “trip down memory lane” — and a rolling out of the welcome mat for some exciting new additions to the Sidewalk Sale scene.

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061914 RB dining al frescoNearly 30 Red Bank restaurants, shops and eateries — including  the Front St. Trattoria, above— will participate in a new summer schedule of Food and Wine Walk events, set to launch this Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

Between the weekend barbecues, the riverside food fests and the many open-air opportunities for grabbing a bite, it can be a bit difficult to digest all the options available to the free-ranging foodie here in the good old summertime.

If Red Bank Rivercenter and Red Bank Flavour have their way, however, we’ll all just be expected to Walk It Off  — and to let our legs and wheels carry us about the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts, for the first in a new monthly round of Food and Wine Walk events.

A self-guided tasting tour that takes in more than two dozen restaurants, specialty shops, taverns and eateries, the inaugural walk runs from 2 to 6 pm this Sunday, with a strolling smorgasbord of wares and fare, from fine wines and eclectic desserts to tapas, sushi and more.

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Maggie Rose GIBudding star Maggie Rose is the headline attraction for the Rockin’ Country Festival that commandeers Marine Park for two days and evenings of family-friendly activities, foodstuffs and freewheelin’ sounds this Saturday and Sunday. 

The folks at Red Bank Rivercenter haven’t exactly “rued the day” they first joined forces with special-events promoter Ruthanne Harrison, producer-proprietor of Asbury Park-based Really Unbelievable Events. From the annual Guinness Oyster Festival to the International Flavour Fest, the RUE brand has been attached to some of the best-received mashups of local/ regional music and cuisine in the borough’s long history of destination attractions. This Saturday and Sunday, they’ll be doing it all with a pronounced twang, as the first-ever Red Bank Rockin’ Country and Food Festival takes over the waterfront walkways and natural amphitheater of Marine Park.

Running between noon and 9 pm on June 28, and from noon to 7 pm on June 29, the weekender promises the participation of 20 Red Bank restaurants (some featuring special BBQ and country-picnic favorites for the occasion) — along with a sonic smorgasbord that offers up homegrown and national acts ranging from mainstream Nashville to Shore-based “seagrass” and tattooed hipster Americana. Toplining the out-of-town entertainers is Margaret Durante, a/k/a Maggie Rose, a Maryland-born vocalist (and former auxiliary member of regional Boss tributeers The B Street Band) whose star has been on the ascendant through a string of solo recordings that have included “I Ain’t Your Mama,” “Better,” and the Comcast SportsNet football anthem “Get Ya Game On.” She’ll be performing the sweet-spot Saturday night set at 7:15 pm — part of a duelling-stages diptych of live music, for which the deep-fried schedule details are available right here.

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StLifeStrumberryStrumberry Pie is among the musical acts returning to the sidewalks and storefronts of downtown Red Bank, for the latest edition of Street Life on Saturday. 

Sure, other towns have staked a claim to being that quasi-mystical place Where Music Lives — but when Red Bank StreetLife continues its Saturday evening schedule on June 14, it will transform the Borough of Basie into that place where Music greets visitors who arrive by rail; where Music provides an eclectic soundtrack to shopping and dining; and where Music gets mobile, on the streets of the downtown and West Side business districts.

Having kicked off its 14th season of busking-after-dusk on June 7, StreetLife runs its weather-permitting slate — a shuffle mix that ranges from Americana to ethnic, and from Sweet Adeline harmonies to a friendly bit of harmonic dissonance — every Saturday between 6 and 9 pm, through August 30. Presented by Red Bank Rivercenter, it all happens in a series of outdoor encounters that span Broad Street to Bridge Avenue. You might even (literally) stumble across the next big thing — and you can take it around the bend to learn more about this Saturnight’s lineup.

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BurtnikRiblerBeatle Bones and Smokin’ Stones: Glen Burtnik’s Beatles Tribute and Marc Ribler’s Rolling Stones Tribute (above) join the conceptual coverband Mashwork Orange (below) among the musical headliners adding savour to the International Flavour Festival, Sunday on White Street.

Mashwork_OrangeCombining many of the best-liked attributes of the old Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns for a third annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday, April 27. A fundraiser for borough-based entities Red Bank RiverCenter, Monmouth Day Care Center, and Parker Family Health Center, the happening from promoter RUE Events teams the culinary kung fu of some 25 Red Bank restaurants and food purveyors (take it here for a rundown) with a strolling smorgasbord of vendors that include beer and wine for purchase. Adding sonic spice to the affair is the enhanced musical menu of headline-worthy acts on two stages; a shuffle-mix that spans showband salsa (Ray Rodriguez and Swing Sabroso), Scottish marches (Atlantic Watch Pipes and Drums), Shore partyband perennials (Kirk and the Jirks, The Nerds), and the gotta-see-it-to-believe-it conceptual coverband Kubrickery of Mashwork Orange. The Beatles and The Stones are duly represented as well — as channeled by music-biz masters and sought after songwriter/ session cats Glen Burtnik (Beatlemania, Styx), Bob Burger and Marc Ribler.

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WeddingWalkMichael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night. 

Sykes-WandaRED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.

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Free_parking_shotParking in municipal lots and numbered street spaces is FREE from December 12 through Christmas Day, with the return of a holiday promotion from Red Bank RiverCenter.

Leave the quarters in your pocket — and don’t lose precious shopping seconds double-checking street-space numbers, or squinting at kiosk display screens. Red Bank RiverCenter has announced that parking in municipal lots and metered streets in the downtown business district will once again be free of charge for the final two weeks of the shopping season, Thursday December 12 to Christmas Day, December 25.

“I’m thrilled that we can offer this great program to all visitors to the downtown,” said Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director, James Scavone, in a statement thanking the Mayor and Council for approving what has become a welcome tradition in the borough.  “Red Bank has so much to offer the holiday shopper, and we hope this gift gives shoppers yet another reason to shop local and shop Red Bank.”

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crowd 112709The Christmas-capital crossroads of Broad and Canal streets is the place to be on Friday night, when Holiday Express presides over the annual concert and town lighting ceremony. (File photos. Click to enlarge)


stage 2 112709As Tim McLoone tells it, he’s “just the keyboard player” in Holiday Express, the winter-wonderland Wall of Sound and Brilliant Light that he founded and has fronted since 1993. But if the big band is merely the part of the all-volunteer humanitarian train that “makes the most noise,” then there’s more to the Express seasonal journey than meets the eye or ear.

The 21st season of performances by Holiday Express — a schedule that takes two regional touring and support units to 60-plus stops in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — actually got underway more than two weeks ago. By December 24, the Express team will have logged some 10,000 miles visiting, playing for and distributing gifts to more than 15,000 people in area homeless shelters, psychiatric hospitals, developmental centers, children’s wards and other places well off the beaten path — places whose residents are often without any family or friends.

For most of us, however, the keynote to the holiday season on the greater Red Bank Green happens on the evening of Black Friday, when the Express makes a rare public-invited pitstop to the downtown nexus of Broad and Canal streets. It’s there, on November 29, that McLoone and company will be flipping the switch on a wintry interlude of special activities and events in the borough — a Town Lighting made all the more special, with the welcome return of some much-missed local traditions.

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scavone-lynn-mass-052313Who’s that behind those Tourism Grants? Left to right, Red Bank RiverCenter’s Jim Scavone and Amanda Lynn are pictured with Visitors Center director Margaret Mass at a May 2013  Red Bank Flavour event. (Click to enlarge) 

Press release from Red Bank RiverCenter

Red Bank RiverCenter, in conjunction with the Red Bank Visitors Center, was awarded a $20,000 Cooperative Marketing Grant for 2014. The grant, available to organizations throughout the entire State of New Jersey, was applied for through the New Jersey Department of Tourism in June 2013, and will be used to expand Red Bank’s award-winning advertising campaign, “Escape for a Little While.”

The ad campaign will reach Washington, D.C., Connecticut, New York State, Pennsylvania, and Canada to encourage tourists and visitors to visit and stay in Red Bank, as well as the entire Jersey Shore.

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Thousands of celebrants are expected to pack Broad Street in Red Bank for the Holiday Express concert and tree lighting Friday night. (Click to enlarge)


Just as your post-Thanksgiving torpor has begun to set in, the brand-new holiday season gets a spirited start in Red Bank with a celebration of sight and sound Friday night.

It’s time for the 19th annual Holiday Express concert and tree lighting, which includes a Santa parade, dancing and a display of lights – all on tap starting at 5:30 p.m.

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Clockwise from top left: A Cool Blues Duo, Jeff & Elaine, The Al Wright Unit and Peas & Carrots are among the acts taking it to the streets for Red Bank Street Life, the 2012 slate of which kicks off this Saturday evening.

It happens right about the time that Riverfest sounds the keynote to summertime in Red Bank. The sidewalks, storefronts and greens of the Shore’s favorite beach-free destination town ring out with great evening music every Saturday night in the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Other towns may stake a claim to being Where Music Lives, but when Red Bank StreetLife returns on June 2, it will transform the Borough of Basie into that place where Music greets visitors who arrive by rail; where Music provides an eclectic soundtrack to shopping and dining; and where Music gets mobile on the streets of the downtown and West Side business districts.

Presented by Red Bank Rivercenter (with funding assistance from the Monmouth County Arts Council), Street Life offers up a shuffle-mix that ranges from acoustic Americana to ethnic, and from sweet-Adeline harmonies to a little bit of harmonic dissonance.

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Like the past two autumn Oysterfests, Red Bank Flavour’s new International Flavour Fest on Sunday will bulge at the belt line of the White Street parking lot. (Click to enlarge)

It’s panning out to be a busy spring for Red Bank Flavour.

The promotional partnership of borough-based bistros, bars, boites, bakeries, breakfast nooks, banquet halls and better take-out vendors heralded the turn of the season with the return of the Dine Downtown campaign in March. Then in April, the culinary alliance presented a special Broadway in Red Bank showcase that reinforced the notion of the town as dinner-and-show destination.

On Sunday, the Flavour pack joins with Red Bank RiverCenter and a host of local and corporate sponsors for an event with a broader, even global, reach: the first annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival.

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A month of elbow-to-elbow good eatin’ kicks off tonight at the Molly. (Click to enlarge)


It’s beginning to give way to Spring around the greater Green, and as our stocks of winter provisions dwindle down to the last few scraps of venison jerky and home-canned jars of okra, we emerge from our dwellings in search of our foodie fix.

Fortunately, March has traditionally sounded a call to action for local merchants of fine food and drink. This week, a go-getter group of restaurateurs around Red Bank and Rumson (as well as Middletown, Little Silver, Sea Bright and Shore points south) are roaring into gear with tonight’s return of the event known as A Taste of the Two Rivers, the continuation of Rumson Restaurant Month, and the kickoff to Red Bank Flavour Fixe.

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