By Jennifer Amato
As the Most Wonderful Time of the Year fast approaches, Red Bank finds itself wrapped up in the magic of the holidays.
“While we wish the town could just transform overnight, the truth is it does take a lot of hard work from an amazing group of dedicated people. Our elves begin work around mid-October when most aren’t even thinking about the holidays, rather contemplating what Halloween costume they might wear. They will work nonstop right up until the end of November for the official start of the season, our annual town lighting,” said Jamie Edelbach, marketing manager for Red Bank RiverCenter.
This downtown winter wonderland is made possible by the Red Bank RiverCenter, the Borough of Red Bank and Powerhouse Signworks.
“If you are walking around town and spot the big yellow Powerhouse trucks stringing lights, make sure you say hello – and thank you – for everything they do,” Edelbach said.
RiverCenter has storage for holiday décor – which includes some of the 150,000 lights that are strung throughout the borough.
“On top of the dazzling white lights, holiday wreaths, bows, lanterns and garland fill the downtown streets,” Edelbach said. “I also can’t forget to mention the beautiful 30-foot tree that graces Riverside Gardens Park. I would argue that the image of the Christmas tree alongside the backdrop of the Navesink River is straight out of a Hallmark movie!”
One of the most treasured holiday traditions in Red Bank is the annual town lighting and concert.
“This year we celebrate the official start of the holidays on Friday, Nov. 26. From 1-6 p.m. guests can ‘Gobble, Wobble and Shop’ their way around town enjoying live music, festive photo ops, fall fun and even spin a wheel for Black Friday discounts at various boutiques and restaurants.
“At 5:30 p.m. we encourage everyone to head to the Red Bank train station for a special holiday dance and music performance before Santa boards the Red Bank fire engine for a parade down Monmouth to Broad.
“At 7 p.m. we are lucky enough to receive a Christmas spectacular thanks to the amazing musicians of Holiday Express. Founded by Monmouth County native, musician, entertainer, restaurateur and humanitarian Tim McLoone, Holiday Express believes no one should be alone at the holidays and makes it their mission to bring music, friendship and joy to those that are most in need.
“Around 8 p.m., with hot chocolate in hand, we all collectively count down 3…2…1… and lights on! Nothing beats the feeling standing under those glimmering lights surrounded by family and friends,” Edelbach said.
Edelbach said Red Bank is so special in the months of November and December because of the people who make up the town.
“There is one thing that I’ve – and many – have noticed about Red Bank, and that’s the true sense of community that is felt. There is so much support between our business owners, residents and visitors – they become more like friends, it’s really unmatched. And while this is the norm, it takes center stage during the holiday season. I can promise you that each and every shop, restaurant or venue you visit will go above and beyond to make sure you share in this feeling.
“Between the decorations, special events and impressive array of businesses in town, we are ready to celebrate with you this holiday season. We can’t wait for you to experience all that Red Bank has to offer,” she said.
2021 Red Bank Holiday Happenings
Gobble, Wobble and Shop, Nov. 26. Black Friday celebration featuring live music, town-wide discounts, photo ops and fall festive fun. 1-6 p.m. on Broad Street.
Annual Town Lighting and Holiday Express Concert, Nov. 26. 5:30 p.m. holiday dance and music performances at the Red Bank Train Station, 6:45 p.m. parade with Santa, 7 p.m. Holiday Express concert on Broad Street, 8 p.m. town lighting.
Red Bank Elf Scavenger Hunt, Nov. 26 to Dec. 24. Spot the Red Bank Elf and log its activity at participating businesses to win a holiday prize.
Red Bank Window Wonderland, Nov. 26 to Dec. 27. Follow the Window Wonderland train around town and post pictures of the displays to win a holiday prize.
Holiday Harmonies, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 26 to Dec. 19. Get into the holiday spirit with strolling performances from local musicians and choirs throughout the downtown.
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27. Shop small and local. Purchase a Red Bank gift card to help support businesses in town.
Barbizon Holiday Mannequins, Nov. 28. Barbizon of Red Bank will have live models posing in storefront windows as holiday displays from 1-4 p.m.
Menorah Lighting, Nov. 29. Join Rabbi Kline for the annual menorah lighting in Riverside Gardens Park.
For updates, visit www.redbank.org.