RED BANK: FREE PARKING, STROLLING SANTAS

rb parking 121112Kiss the kiosks goodbye for the next two weeks:. Visitors to downtown Red Bank will get a pass on having to pay for parking starting Thursday and running through December 25. The annual moratorium applies to lot and curb spaces, according to Red Bank RiverCenter.

The downtown promotion agency will host an “open house” throughout the business district Thursday night, featuring store sales, refreshments, carolers, and the Barbizon Holiday Mannequins. New this year: strolling Santas, available to grace your selfies. (Photo by John T. Ward; click to enlarge)

RUMSON: WARMING UP A CHILLY NIGHT

120714 rumson xmas4Tim McLoone, flanked by Rudolph, Santa and Frosty, rocked the gazebo in Victory Park. Rudolph also made the rounds in the crowd, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

120714 rumson xmas11 Victory Park was awash in lights and music as Tim McLoone and the Shirleys headed up Rumson’s Christmas tree lighting Sunday night.

Mayor John Ekdahl nominated a second-grader from the Deane Porter School to perform the task of pushing the button to light the tree and the Tower singers from Rumson-Fair Haven High School offered a selection of holiday tunes while Linda Walton’s catering company helped the crowd ward off the night’s chill with hot chocolate and home baked cookies.

Were you among those singing-in the holiday season? Check below for more pictures.

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RED BANK: SANTA & KIDS HUDDLE IN THE RAIN

rb tree lighting 120614Santa Claus and friends attempted to find some shelter from the rain as Red Bankers gathered for the annual West Side Tree Lighting at the pocket park on Shrewsbury Avenue Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: CAROLS FOR THE SEASON

ls christmas 120714 1ls christmas 120714 3Students from the Markham Place and Point Road Schools in Little Silver caroled through six holiday songs – including “Little Drummer Boy,” “African Noel” and “The Spirit of Hanukah” – as the community gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting at borough hall Sunday. A dog named Jameson was dressed for the chilly occasion, too. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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FAIR HAVEN: WAITING FOR SANTA

120514 fhsanta13There was no shortage of pizza as kids awaited Santa, who arrived with an assist by the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Department. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

120514 fhsanta12A drizzly night didn’t stop the hearty kids and adults of Fair Haven from coming out to greet Santa Claus Friday night.

Leaving his sleigh at the North Pole until Christmas Eve, jolly old St. Nick got a lift to the annual Christmas tree lighting from the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Department.

More pictures await, just around the corner…

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A FESTIVE DAY OF SANTAS, EDDIES & A HORSE

It was silly Saturday in Red Bank, as roving bands of Santas and Cousin Eddies did some major barhopping for charity, hitting just about every watering hole in town and shaking their pails for contributions.

In the process, they raised some serious cash. SantaCon shook out $1,100 for the Red Bank Middle School Athletics Foundation, and EddieCon raked in $2,000, plus a $2,000 corporate match, for the Monmouth Day Care Center.

As far as we know, nobody got arrested, and a good time was had by all, including Prince, the horse, who was also out doing his seasonal thing of taking visitors on rides in his carriage.

ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, PLUG IN

holiday-dec-09Two of last year’s winners: the Philips residence on Reckless Place and the Lauterwasser residence on East Westside Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

OK, lovers of electric light: your season is officially here. It’s time for Red Bank’s annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest.

We’re talking tons of twinkle. We’re talking inflatable, ground-lit Santas. We’re talking wattage.

Oh, and there’s Vermont maple syrup, not to mention bragging rights, at stake.

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DOWNTOWN READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP

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Unadorned, but not for long, this year’s holiday tree awaits its big moment in the courtyard of the Dublin House restaurant on Monmouth Street earlier this week.

One of the biggest, and certainly the jolliest, events of the year returns to Red Bank for its 16th edition Friday evening.

We’re talking about the hard-to-name series of mini-spectacles that begin with a Santa Claus-accompanied train ride into town, gather steam with a parade down Monmouth Street, go all sparkly with downtown tree lighting and culminate with the chummiest R&B-inflected outdoor holiday singalong money can buy.

And it’s all free.

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