Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove events’ Category


By 6:30 pm there was a long line waiting to get in at the Auditorium Pavilion on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove. © Click to enlarge the photos

By 6:30 pm there was a long line waiting to get in at the Auditorium Pavilion on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove. © Click to enlarge the photos. Blogfinger.net   Reposted from July 2016.


The assembly line was well oiled. This was the tartar sauce station. All photos by Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger.net

The assembly line was well oiled. This was the tartar sauce station. All photos by Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger.net


You needed to be a red head to work here. It all smelled so good. Nothing like fried fish and chips right out of the fryer. ©

You needed to be a red head to work here. It all smelled so good. Nothing like fried fish and chips right out of the oil. ©  The cooks were professionals from Kearny, NJ, fish and chip mecca.


This is the sort of community event that breathes life into a town like OG.

FRED MOLLIN AND THE BLUE SEA BAND  from the movie Ratatouille 




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OG Saturday Giant Flea Market June 2016. Gridlock. Blogfinger photo. ©  Where else can you find this?  Click once to make the crowd bigger.


OG mega Flea Market. Blogfinger photo 2016 ©


By  Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor@Blogfinger.net

May 5   Spring Fling  Chamber of Commerce closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

May 19  Vintage Car Show  CC  closes down Main Avenue:  gridlock

June 2   Giant Spring Flea Market  CC floods Ocean Pathway with thousands of junksters:   gridlock

June 16 OGCMA  Giant Craft Show —-300 artisans:   Gridlock all over town

June 23   OGCMA Huge Christian festival:  Bridgefest:  Gridlock all over town.

August 4  OGCMA    Saturday of the Camp Meeting Week:   Gridlock all over town.

August 18  OGCMA   Beach boys:  Gridlock evening.

Sept 1 Doo /wop:   Gridlock evening

Sept. 8  Giant Fall flea Market:   CC floods Ocean Pathway —gridlock

Sept 16  British Car Show  CC closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

October 6 Fall Harvest Festival CC  closes down Main Avenue: gridlock

Note: Every Saturday during the summer season is a gridlock day due to beach attendance and when residents and their guests crowd the town during all those weekends. But that is to be expected. This is a beach town.

But now we are addressing mega Saturday tourist events such as the Giant Craft Show on the Pathway which make the town hopelessly paralyzed.

So what other Jersey Shore towns have so many gridlock Saturday special events geared towards tourists and oppressively imposed  on the residents?

Consider Bradley Beach:  Just one–The Lobster Festival.  Holiday celebrations such as Memorial Day weekend don’t count because they are automatically part of summer.      The rest are things like line dancing, music on the boards, opera by the sea, Italian Festival, Bradley Beach Day etc. which are primarily for the residents and don’t cause gridlock.

Here is a link to our recent piece about the struggle in Bradley Beach over one such mega event.  It’s very interesting:

Bf reports on Bradley Beach struggle with mega-event

Consider Belmar mega:  Just a car show and the NJ Seafood  Festival.

Consider Avon mega:  no mega events

Consider Asbury mega:  Oyster Festival.  They have many activities including music, shows, farmers markets, fine restaurants, bars and boardwalk events like the Zombies,  but these enhance the image of A. Park and are not merely mega events to suck in huge numbers of tourists like we have. They have crowds and parking issues, but those crowds are drawn to the vibe of A. Park not to giant marketplaces where you can just buy stuff.

Consider Seaside Heights:  Nothing mega.   Jersey Shore Festival;  otherwise arts and crafts, boardwalk fun/food, and soccer tourney.

Consider Spring Lake:  Nothing mega.  Just sensible small events for residents and guests:    House tour, art in the park, garden tour, art walk, sidewalk sale, etc.


Only OG has huge  events that overwhelm the town.    What good does any of this do for the people of Ocean Grove?  The CMA mostly attracts crowds from outside the Grove.  All of the Shore  towns have events, but they are primarily for the residents, such as ballroom dancing, concerts on the boardwalk, competitions for kids, etc.

Of the towns listed, we are the smallest and the most paralyzed by contrived tourist events.  There is no reason to continue these overwhelming Saturday gridlocks—the Township needs to reduce the numbers to be in line with other Jersey  Shore towns.  But will they?  No.   These other communities make sure that their citizens enjoy the summer season in their home towns.  Tourism, yes, but sensibly done.

Do the people of Ocean Grove want their town to be a circus every Saturday in season?  Here is a march from Barnum and Bailey:



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Memorial Day. Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net.  OG  Lifestyles


NORA  JONES.  “American Anthem.”  From the soundtrack of  The War:

“What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?
Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you.”

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Blogfinger photograph ©. At the entrance into Ocean Grove onto Main Avenue.  Flag placed at the gates by the OG Fire Department.  Click to enlarge.  11:15 am,  December 12, 2017

Procession heads west on Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo ©  Noon, Dec. 12, 2017.

December 12, 2017.      Today was the funeral of John H. Jackson who died at the age of 48.  He received a special and unusual  honor as a procession of about 100 vehicles, many of them official cars , fire engines, and vans belonging to Neptune police, fire and emergency services drove slowly along Main Avenue from the ocean, headed towards St. Paul’s Church.

John H. Jackson was a patrolman with the NTPD for nearly 20 years, as well as a U.S. Navy veteran, an OG Lifeguard and a volunteer with the OG Fire Department.

The Fire Department flew a huge flag to greet those coming into town for this event.

CHRISTINA PERRI:  From the soundtrack of  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

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Al Venezia on Mt. Hermon Way in OG greets trick and treaters who come to his porch. Grrrrrrr!     Paul Goldfinger photo. 10/31/17 ©

Click on one image and then follow the large sideways arrows.  Little X to come back here.





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Even kids take a backseat to the dogs. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.  Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©   Click to enlarge. All other photos by Jean Bredin  (Around town with Jean. )

Says Blogfinger reporter Jean Bredin who was running around town at the parade and at the Main Avenue Fireman’s Park  in her witches outfit.

The Ocean Grove Pet Boutique  (Main Avenue)  sponsored today’s event.

“The weather was perfect. There were lots of dogs, children and grown ups in costumes. Ocean Grove shops gave out candy to those who stopped in.

“The Parade marched down Main St., then turned around to where it originated, Firemen’s Park, where prizes were awarded to the winners.”

Photo Gallery by Jean:  Click on any one photo and then follow the big side arrows.  Use the little X to return to BF.  Click on the music and then view the gallery:



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Portrait by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net © And we do know how to spell that A. word. Can you without peeking.?  Click to enlarge the image. July, 2016. Ocean Grove, NJ



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Illumination Night 2017. 8/4/17. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.

This is the third time that Illumination Night, of modern times, was held in Ocean Grove at Auditorium Square Park. It lasted from 8 pm to 10 pm, and the good news is that a fairly large crowd (perhaps 200 people or more)  was present indicating that the town needs more “down home” outdoors community events for those who live here and/or vacation here, in the summertime.

What we have now in town  (putting aside the plentiful CMA religious-based activities ) are the varieties of eating parties: fish and chips, BBQ, and ice cream plus the sheer joy of the postcard show and the musical  pleasures of the Summer Band concerts.

The Township takes no interest in promoting community pride and cohesiveness for residents through Ocean Grove events, and neither do the organized OG groups such as the Home Groaners , the Chamber, and the HSOG.

Some of the tents were illuminated. Paul Goldfinger photo 8/4/17 ©

But the CMA came through with last night’s event, and the attendees, people of all ages, seemed to have a good time.

The crowd was busy lining up for food (at a price) while listening to music which was fairly subdued.  It was difficult to see the food in the dark. The kids were having a good time running around wearing glowing hoops, and many chat groups formed of people who seemed to know each other. Some brought chairs while others ate while sitting on the steps of the Youth Temple.

One surprise bonus was that the Auditorium was open, and visitors could walk in and sit down—a real treat because Gordon Turk and Maestro Jason Tramm were rehearsing the Ocean Grove Choir.

Visitors sat around the Christmas tree eating, watching the bands, and enjoying the kids. Paul Goldfinger photograph © 8/4/17

The funny thing is that this Illumination Night was barely illuminated.  It was dark once the sun went down.  Why are we having an illumination party in the dark?  There were no organized events, unless you count milling about as a special activity, and there also were the few couples who were attempting some slow dancing to a missing rhythm.   What this Illumination Night needs are more lumens, a happy, lively band that is totally awake, and some organized events, at least for the kids.

OG kids glow in the dark. Jean Bredin photograph © 8/4/17 Blogfinger.net staff.


C’mon lady, light my fire!
By Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff. ©

There is no historic precedent that would guide  how such an event should be done. In OG it has always been sponsored by the CMA, but the modern-day model seems to be improvised by the staff at the Hub.  There was no Hub in the 19th century.  Back then, the OG version was a water park celebration with many brightly lit boats floating on Wesley Lake and with thousands of people standing by on the shores.

In Martha’s Vineyard, which is the modern prototype, they still look forward to gathering in their Tabernacle and having a sing-a-long with a vociferous band and mostly patriotic music.

Illumination Night. Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. Pinterest photo.

There is no religious component in Oak Bluffs as there was last night with a Christian band performing  in that genre.   And the Oak Bluffs decorations are bright and plentiful, and they even have a tradition of turning on the lights while everyone oohs and ahs.  They leave their decorations up for two weeks, and that is probably the only tourist based activity in that lovely residential town.

Oak Bluffs sing-a-long for Illumination Night

The 21st century version in the Grove, based on 2016 and last night, seems to be successful despite itself, indicating that demand exceeds the supply of festiveness for Illumination Night in OG.

So perhaps the CMA will try to add more life to the event next year, taking  advantage of all the evident community interest.  How about a suggestion box at The Hub and a better budget for lighting the park?  How about some comments here suggesting ways to improve this worthwhile summer event for 2018.


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Paul Goldfinger ©  July 4, 2017.  Main Avenue in Ocean Grove.


“NEIL DIAMOND MEDLEY” performed live in Brussels by Patrick Riguelle and John Terra from the album Live From the Brill Building.


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Ocean Grove Memorial Day Weekend. 5/27/17 Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It was cool and breezy during the Atlantic Wind Ensemble concert on Saturday night, May 27, 2017–Memorial Day weekend in Ocean Grove, NJ.

The band entertained a large crowd with a fine selection of music including Haydn, South Pacific, Dixieland, James Bond and God Bless America among others.

Outside, tent city was largely uninhabited, but one dwelling was displaying an American flag, and in the waning soft light of the early evening, with the doors of the Great Auditorium open, you could see that flag floating in the breeze. Its colors seemed dreamy–not bright like the usual red, white and blue display.  In between band selections, I walked across the GA and outside to get this photograph.  No one was around except for some ushers, but the flag seemed just right for Memorial Day and all it stands for.

Memorial Day concert. Great Auditorium. 5/27/17. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Click to enlarge.

The first number on the program after the Star Spangled Banner was a Spanish piece called “Amparito Roca.”  Here it is as performed by the University of Illinois Symphonic Band.

The announcer said it was famous as a vehicle for dancing the Paso Doble, a dramatic and romantic dance from Spain, which I saw performed many years ago by a professional dance team at the Hotel Nemerson in South Fallsburg, NY.  But the Atlantic Wind performance for this piece sounded like march music.  So, naturally, I went home and Googled it.  And, sure enough, it is both: march and dance music for the Paso Doble.

So here are Susanna Reid and Kevin on You Tube doing that dance to the music of “Los Toreadors” (Bizet from Carmen)

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