Woot Woot Here Comes Summer


I bet you’re curious…  Yes, this summer at the Jersey Shore is shaping up to be fantastic!  Schools are letting out in the upcoming days and it is time to think Summer Thoughts, namely Firework Displays.

Kaboom is still on the kabash for this year in Red Bank due to organizational and financial issues, but there are still plenty of nearby towns planning on providing spectacular visual entertainment for you and your family.

The longest running event during the Independence Day holiday at the Jersey Shore is the Atlantic Highlands Fireman Fair.  This unique town offers tremendous water views, great restaurants, a marina and fishing boats available to charter throughout the year.  The fair will be going on from July 2-July 6 at Municipal Harbor on Simon Lake Drive.  Circle your calendar for Fireworks on Friday, July 5th with a rain date of Saturday July 7th.

Hazlet is always a winner with fireworks.  Start your holiday weekend early by watching the Wednesday July 3rd display.  Get to Veterans Park, grab a prime spot and wait patiently for the sun to set. (Rain date Friday, July 5th)

Spend the day in Keansburg at the amusement and water parks.  Spend your night ooooing and aaahhhing at the colors exploding across the black canvas of the night sky.   They offer a double feature – Wednesday and Thursday July 3rd and July 4th at dusk – Fishing Pier and Boardwalk

Long Branch proudly presents Oceanfest on Thursday July 4th – all day free family fun can be found.  This annual festival is a crowd pleaser “for shore” with activities happening all day long starting at 10am.  What can be better than good old fashioned family fun at the Promenade in Long Branch!?!  Don’t forget to stop at Strollo’s Lighthouse and cool off or celebrate with an authentic Italian ice or delicious homemade soft serve ice cream.

Union Beach, one of the most devastated Monmouth County communities from Sandy’s wrath, did not have any plans to conduct their annual fireworks display.  Those residents have spent the last 210 days rebuilding their town and their spirits.  One resident entered a contest for a free community fireworks display and Won!  They have not yet posted a date for this wonderful gift that has been bestowed upon them.   Be sure to come and celebrate their victory in determination.  You will never meet a more deserving bunch of people.

So pack up the car and the kiddos – shoot, we’re pet friendly at the Comfort Inn Middletown, so bring the family pet too – and head on down the shore to Exit 117.  There is something to do every day here and we look forward to creating Summer 2013 memories with you!

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Go Green and Be Seen at the Belmar St. Patrick Day Parade


It’s that time of year again for Belmar’s Annual St. Patrick Day Parade. This year it is set for Sunday, March 4. Start time for the parade is 12:30 on Main Street, but it is highly suggested to arrive prior so you can secure an excellent viewing spot as well as a parking spot for your car.
Since 1974 this parade has been hitting the streets and each year the spectators increase. Join the locals and the not-so-locals at the parade of the year! This year the parade’s Grand Marshal is John Carr and the Grand Deputy Marshal is Jane Catherine Guild. Wonderful bios about both of these honored folks can be found on the Belmar Parade Website.
Firetrucks, Marching Bands, Cheerleaders, Bag Pipers and more. You will see it all! Grab your green and be seen, but only at the Belmar St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Not Irish? Not a problem…. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!
Make it a Family Sunday Funday! After the parade’s conclusion, visit the wonderful eateries in Belmar, then take a trip to Point Pleasant and visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium.

KaBoom Fest and Rock The River July 4th Weekend


Whoa Nelly! Wasn’t it just Memorial Day and I was happily typing along about the “Unofficial Start” of summer??! Well, the calendar doesn’t lie summer has progressed into full-out fun.  There’s so much to do and see for the 4th of July holiday this weekend. C’mon down the shore and see.

I went to Red Bank this afternoon to get some yummy Surf Taco for lunch and saw this banner.  A little shot from the iPhone camera. It was a beautiful day and the weather this weekend is looking equally lovely.

 KaBoom Fest 2011 starts Friday July 1, 2011 with  KaBoom Amusements there all three days. All-American Amusements include rides, games of chance and carnival food.  Rock the River Concert Saturday evening July 2nd has gates opening at 5:00pm. The first act to take the stage is Matt O’Ree at 6:00pm followed by Quincy Mumford at 7:00pm. Headliner, Human Wheels is on at 8:15pm and they are one of the best John Mellencamp tribute bands around. Rock out to classics like Pink Houses, Authority Song, Small Town, Jack and Diane, Hurt So Good, Need a Lover, Paper in Fire, Lonely Ol’ Night and more. (Jack and Diane is now stuck in my head… you know… the beginning part…)

Sunday afternoon and into the night July 3rd is KaBoom Fireworks launched from two barge locations. The display shoots over 10,000 shells, all choreographed to an eclectic mix of popular and patriotic songs on the Navesink River in Red Bank.

This year KaBoom Fest fireworks are being handled differently.  Event organizers have put together 3 different packages for everyone to enjoy the show.  Budget restraint and growing costs have forced ticket pricing.

Family Fun Fireworks will be in Riverside Gardens Park. The event is limited to 2,000 people and gates open at 2:00pm.  Tickets in advance are $7 for adults and $4 for kids 10 and under and tickets the day of the event are $10 per adult and $5 for kids 10 and under.  Broadcasting Live will be Q104.3 and the band line-up includes 3:00pm The Tor Miller Band, 4:30pm Rock ‘n Music Idol Winner, 5:15pm Michael Bernier and The Uprising and finishing out at 7:00pm will be Tasting Grace.

KaBoom Fest BBQ catered by Branches Catering offers front row seats to the fireworks.   Gates open at 5:00pm and the event is limited to 150 people. The buffet dinner will be served from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.  Tickets prices are $140.00 per adult and $50 kids 10 and under and includes a KaBoom Fest commemorative t-shirt.

Friends of KaBoom will have two locations. East will be in Marine park and seats will be provided for a front row view with reserved parking near the park. Pricing is a four ticket minimum for $100 and additional tickets are $25 each. West will b eon the n Lawn near the end of Maple Avenue along the shores of the Navesink River and includes Park (SOLD OUT).  For tickets and more information visit kaboomfireworks.org

Due to the fact this post had to be written a second time I didn’t have time tonight to get everything else going on into it. Darn you WordPress *shaking fist* but the bright side is I can show Tracy how to use it tomorrow (with strong advice to write in Word, copy and paste into WordPress).  There’s always  a bright side; happy holiday weekend to you. Be safe.

A Fun Weekend Packed with Jersey Shore Events! C’mon Down the Shore…


As I said in my post earlier today, the weather forecast for the weekend, while not beach perfect, is still friendly enough to head on down the shore for some really kick butt events. Get your beach time in if you can and make it a point to check out these out:

The 25th Annual New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar  the weekend of June 10th through 12th, 2011 in Silver Lake Park on Ocean Avenue between 5th & 6th Avenues. The New Jersey Seafood Festival spotlights Belmar’s scenic oceanfront and allows people from around the State to sample a wide variety of seafood specialties from their favorite restaurants including: Jake’s Crab Shack, Brandl, Klein’s Waterside Cafe, Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty,Mr Shrimp and many others. Food offerings extend from the traditional shrimp, lobster and calamari, to the more exotic alligator sausage, sushi, conch fritters, and seafood paella. Admission is free, and food is available for purchase. Friday times are 4:00 to 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. 732-681-3700 or belmar.com.  The Belmar Farmer’s Market is also open Saturday, June 11th from 9:00am to 2:00pm in Pyanoe Plaza.

Ocean Grove’s Spring Vintage Car Show is Saturday, June 11th, 2011 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  There will be  over 90 cars on display and live doo wop music from 12:00pm to 4:00pm to enjoy. Presented by the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce, admission is free and the show will be held on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove.

While the Mets are over in Pittsburgh taking on the Pirates the Seastreak is offering their Yankees ticket package on June 11 and 12, 2011. Hop on for a scenic ride to Yankees Stadium aboard the Ocean State and see the Yankees take on the Indians.  Ticket packages are $85.00 and the boat ride only is $60.00. Reservations need to be made in advance; for more information visit Seastreak Yankees event page. I took the Seastreak to Citi Field to see the Mets last weekend and it was so much fun, I’d totally do it again. It was way better than driving, taking the train or bus.  I’m going to write about it in another post. Our seats were awesome, the boat ride was awesome and the ease of travel was awesome. (Not to mention the beer…)

Formerly the Metroman, the Asbury Park Triathlon is Sunday June 12th in Asbury Park, NJ. The race is composed of a 750 meter Atlantic Ocean swim, a 14.5 mile bike ride and ends on the Asbury Park Boardwalk with a 3 mile run.  Starting time is 7:00am with the swim. For further information visit asburyparktri.com. Additionally, waterfront parking is free this weekend in Asbury Park June 10-12, 2011.

The 41st Annual New Jersey Irish Festival moves to Monmouth Park in 2011! On June 12, 2011 from 12:00pm to 6:00 there will be live entertainment on two different stages, Pipe & Drum Band Competition, Catholic Mass, Food Vendors, Craft Vendors, Irish Step Dancing, Family Activities, 50/50 Raffle and a full day of live Thoroughbred racing. For the entertainment schedule and list of food and craft vendors visit the event page on Monmouth Park’s website.

The Red Bank Food & Wine Walk returns this Sunday, June 12, 2011.  It happens the second and fourth Sunday of each summer month. The cost is $25 per person and there are over 20 locations participating. The Food & Wine Walk has traditionally been a wonderfully successful event. Patrons enjoying a day at the beach or shopping at great Red Bank stores can end their day sampling the varied and splendid foods Red Bank has to offer. As participants stroll from one establishment to another, they can take in the many beautiful sights of this splendid riverside town.

Guests purchase a Food & Wine Walk wristband for $25/person at selected locations on the day of the event. The wristband entitles the purchaser to one wine or one food/wine sample at each of the more than 20 participating locations. The food, the wine, the summer weather, the beauty of Red Bank – it’s the perfect way to end your weekend. To find where to purchase a wrist band on the day of the event and a complete list of participating venues visit onlyoneredbank.com.

There’s a ton to do and see this weekend at the Jersey Shore. I’m personally counting down the minutes to the 6:00 bell so I can get out here and enjoy it. Hope you do too!

NJ Marathon Weekend & Other Jersey Shore Events


It’s been one crazy week, I apologize for the lack of posts this week.  Guilt is the main reason I’m sitting at my lap top while the Mets are playing and the NFL Draft is on TV but I digress. The weather report is looking pretty darn excellent for both Saturday and Sunday and that alone would make for a great weekend at the Jersey Shore. The bonus is there’s a bunch of fun events going on so there’s even more of a reason to plan a weekend getaway.  Here’s the scoop:

New Jersey Marathon and Long Branch Half Marathon in Long Branch, NJThe annual New Jersey Marathon and Long Branch Half Marathon will take place in Long Branch, NJ this weekend. For full details on the events surrounding Marathon weekend, visit the New Jersey Marathon website.

The New Jersey Marathon Festival has something for everyone, with a Marathon, Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, and Saturday Kids and Family Events, plus world-class courses designed for speed, great area restaurants and attractions, and amazing oceanfront scenery.

Friday and Saturday will feature and Health and Fitness Expo at Monmouth Park. The running related expo will be free, and open to the public, as well as to all participants in The New Jersey Marathon Festival.  Last-minute race applications will be accepted during the expo (no registration on race day). The prices are as follows: Full Marathon: $135.00 and Half Marathon: $115.00. The Expo Hours: 1:00pm to 8:00pm on Friday (4/29), and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday (4/30).

There will be a special New Jersey Marathon Train from NYC Penn Station to Long Branch to ease your travel worries and traffic. Click here for the race day schedule.

Not into running for hours? No worries, there’s plenty more to do like see a show or dine in some really great restaurants.

Saturday April 30th 11:00am  to 5:00pm is Taste of Asbury Park. Over 16 Asbury Park Restaurants will be participating. It will be an event to appeal to everyone with children’s face painting, stilt walker, games, craft vendors and local artists. Rock on with three bands playing  jazz, classic rock and reggae. Discover what Asbury Park restaurant have to offer with food for $3 or $5 from every participating restaurant. Beer, wine and other beverages will be available as well. This year a VIP wine tasting tent  has been added.  Entrance to the event is only $5. Click here for complete information on Taste of Asbury Park.

Brian Regan will be treating audiences to two shows Saturday evening, April 30th at Count Basie Theatre. Show times are 7:00pm and 9:30pm. From Count Basie Theatre website on Brian Regan’s comedic style:

His observational humor about everyday events like shipping a package, visiting the optometrist, little league baseball, spelling bees and science projects are relatively “clean” and profanity-free, and resonate with a fan base ranging from young taste makers to middle-aged adults.

Middletown Arts Center will host “An Evening With Billy Van Zandt” at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 30th to benefit Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council. Enjoy an exciting evening with actor/writer/producer Billy Van Zandt as he provides an inside look at his life and career. The evening will be moderated by actor Jeff Babey. Ticket price is $100. Purchase tickets early for preferred seating. Event is followed by a wine and cheese reception in the MAC gallery. Tickets are available online here.

Saturday is the start of the week-long “Paint The Town Pink” in Red Bank to raise awareness for breast cancer. Red Bank turns into Pink Bank for this annual event sponsored by Riverview Medical Center. Pink (Monmouth) Beach and Pink (Fair) Haven will also host events in their respective towns. There are a number of events occurring throughout the 3 towns from April 30 to May 7, 2011. Visit pinkbank.org for a full listing of events, details and to donate.

**Update 4/29*** I forgot about Red Bank’s the first Only One Red Bank Home Event. Like a Home Improvement Show, this event spotlights design, appliance, furniture and other businesses in Red Bank’s wonderful business district to help you plan your Spring cleaning and home improvement projects. Consult with design professionals and specialty merchants to bring your home improvement dreams to life! And… Visit 10 businesses to be entered to win a $500 Red Bank Gift Card, great prize packages and more!. So, enjoy your Saturday shopping and planning while indulging in special treatment of entertainment and refreshments at our great participating businesses, and fulfill your home improvement dreams! Then, stop for dinner at one of Red Bank’s great restaurants!

We hope to see you in our neck of the woods shore this weekend.  There’s a lot of fun things to do and see.  If you can’t make it this weekend, watch for next weeks post on: More Pink Bank, the start of Atlantic Highlands Farmers Market (a sure sign of warmer weather), First Saturday in Asbury Park, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day Ceremony and Taste of Sea Bright. Whatever you do, have a fabulous and relaxing weekend.

Easter at the Jersey Shore


Easter is coming!  It’s so hard to believe it’s this weekend.  Even though it’s late this year, it seems to have crept up on me. The good news is that it also means there’s about 5 weeks until Memorial Day which is the unofficial start of summer here at the Jersey Shore.  Easter weekend is usually a pretty slow for us so we’ve decided to offer a special rate to  everyone who is connected with us on social media one way or another to come check us out.

Book your accommodations by calling 732-671-3400 request the Easter Special for a stay between April 22 and April 25th, 2011. The rate is $89.00* regardless of room type. Comfort Inn Middletown-Red Bank offers rooms with one queen bed, two queen beds and one king bed. All rooms have a hotel sized microwave and refrigerator. The entire hotel has free wireless internet. Our deluxe continental breakfast is available and free from 6:00am to 9:30am daily. Downtown Red Bank is 2.5 miles south on Route 35.

Looking for things to do to entertain the kiddies?  There are some fun Jersey Shore events scheduled for the holiday weekend:

April 23rd meet at Lot B on Sandy Hook at 8:45am  for the Sandy Hook Birding Program. Search for hawks and songbirds with Scott Barnes. Bring a lunch, binoculars and weather appropriate clothing.

April 23 & 24 See a demonstration of an old-fashioned sheep shearer at Longstreet Farm in Holmdel for Sheep Shearing and Wool Days.

April 23rd Easter Egg Hunt in Ocean Grove at the Main Avenue Beach.

April 24th will be the Easter Parade in Asbury Park.

For more information on these events visit the Monmouth County Tourism Calendar of Events

We have an added secret bonus too! Check in on Foursquare and if it’s your first time checking in with us (and even if it isn’t…) you’ll receive a voucher for a FREE Bloomin’ Onion at Outback Steakhouse.  It’s located 10 feet from the hotel.  Outback Steakhouse is finishing up their restaurant renovation and I’m hoping to make it over there to see it this afternoon. I’ll bring the camera and share so be sure to check back!!  Happy Easter, we hope to welcome you to the Inn!

*Applicable taxes are not included in that rate.

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music Now in Asbury Park


As part of Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service “Museum on Main Street” series the “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” exhibit will be at the Asbury Park Library, 500 First Avenue, Asbury Park, March 12 to April 17.

Summary from Museum On Main Street

Listen to America’s music and hear the story of freedom. It’s the story of people in a New World places they have left behind, and ideas they have brought with them. It is the story of people who were already here, but whose world is remade. The distinct cultural identities of all of these people are carried in song — both sacred and secular. Their music tracks the unique history of many people reshaping each other into one incredibly diverse and complex people — Americans. Their music is the roots of American music.

The music that emerges is known by names like blues, country western, folk ballads, and gospel. The sounds are as sweet as mountain air, and as sultry as a summer night in Mississippi delta country. The instruments vary from fiddle to banjo to accordion to guitar to drum. But a drum in the hands of an African sounds different from one in the hands of a European. And neither is the drumbeat of an American Indian. Yet all the rhythms merge, as do the melodies and harmonies, producing completely new sounds — new music. The musics merge because this is America. New waves of music ride ashore in the hearts and heads of new immigrants and they create still new sounds from what they have brought with them and what they find here. And nothing expresses the tensions — or the triumphs — of this journey into democracy quite like the music that it spawns.

The main beat of the exhibition is the ongoing cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth. The exhibition provides a fascinating, inspiring, and toe-tapping listen to the American story of multi-cultural exchange. The story is full of surprises about familiar songs, histories of instruments, the roles of religion and technology, and the continuity of musical roots from “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to the latest hip hop CD.

A walking tour of Asbury Park’s musical landmarks, including those connected to Bruce Springsteen, is scheduled for April 2. Tickets for the walking tour, $10, can also be bought at the Asbury Park Library.

This Associated Press article sums the exhibit up quite well.  A lot of work has been put into fund-raising and preparing for the arrival of this exhibit to celebrate Asbury Park’s rich musical heritage. For more information on all of the events planned to surround New Harmonies, visit Asbury Park Music.com.