Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove illumination night’ Category

Ocean Pathway, OG. August, 2018. Dusk. Paul Goldfinger photograph. © click to enlarge.

MICHELE GARRUTI:   “Life is Beautiful” from the 1997 Italian movie of the same name.   From the album the Greatest Movie Soundtracks.  The film won three Academy Awards including Best Foreign Film, Best Original Score and Best Actor. (Roberto Benigni.)

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Paul Goldfinger ©. Auditorium Square Park. August 4, 2017. Click to enlarge


EVA KATHERINE  “Summertime Dream.”

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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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Illumination Night 2016. Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net. image © Click to enlarge.  

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor, Blogfinger.net

Illumination Night is a traditional event that was brought back to life in 2014.  The latest version will be held  this Friday, August 4, 2017, in the evening from 8-10 pm. As before, the activities will be in Auditorium Square Park, the Hub and the Hub’s Courtyard.  (All adjacent to the Great Auditorium.)

Lights will be installed around the park and on houses and tents. The light motif is especially important this year because it reflects the Camp Meeting Association’s  theme for this summer, “Let your light shine.”

Paper bag lights are being decorated by the children of the Thornley Chapel kindergarten and students from the Riptide school.

Illumination Night has become a community event.  Neighbors come with the kids and meet friends. It has been a happy occasion of the sort that Ocean Grove needs more of.  Blogfinger has been impressed with the numbers of young families and children who enjoy being out for this  night-time gala occasion.

However, last year there was concern on Blogfinger as to whether this event would evolve into a secular or a religious event. In 2016 there was a sermon and some Christian music.

This year there will be live music  and there will be catered food such as hot sandwiches for sale.  Other town eateries may participate. There will also be displays by the OG Candy Shop, the Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce.

Lynda Kusick, the Hub Manager, is setting up the event.

Here are some related links:

Link to the July 2014 first  modern-day Illumination Night in Ocean Grove. There was no repeat in 2015.

2014 Illumination Night

Link to the 2016 edition.  There is a nice photo gallery to enjoy here.

2016 Illumination Night and gallery

Link to a video in Ocean Grove:

Festival of lights


SINEAD LOHAN  “Sailing By”


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