Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Grove Christmas’

Live nativity procession. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. c. 2000. By Paul Goldfinger. ©.  This event used to be held outdoors with a finish in the Auditorium Pavilion. Now it is held in the Great Auditorium.  The music is too happy to remain only in December., so Christmas in July is held in Tent Village each summer.


By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger.net


When we first moved here part-time in 1998, we became acquainted with the Live Nativity event.  I never saw anything like it before.

I recall standing out in the cold waiting for the children and animals to appear.  There was a procession, and  this star bearer came by. She seemed as  if  she had appeared out of the mists of time  as in Brigadoon.   For a moment I felt I had experienced time travel.

Preserving the past is usually expressed in this town by the architecture. But other things occur which add life to the history, as you see in the photograph.

It’s important to continue those traditions whenever possible.   The live nativity is now indoors, but it seemed more authentic when we were breathing vapor out our nostrils while waiting in the cold for the two-humped camel, the wise men, the sheep and some shepherds to arrive.


SOUNDTRACK:  As a teenage musician I often took part in Christmas celebrations and concerts. We went caroling in the snow , and people tossed dollar bills out the windows of the garden apartments where we lived.

In school, Christmas music was a big deal, and I always have associated this holiday with beautiful music,  both classical and popular.

But this photograph seems to require something especially heart-felt and different from the usual carols, so here, although it is not actually a Christmas selection, it does seem to go with the photo.  It’s Puccini.—Paul Goldfinger


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#5 Broadway. Ocean Grove, before the Chamber of Commerce told us to decorate our houses. Paul Goldfinger photo ©. 2017


By Paul Goldfinger, Master-of-ceremonies @Blogfinger.net. 2017. Ocean Grove, NJ

We have known for some time that Asbury Park is heading towards year-round tourism to benefit their local commercial endeavors.  In addition since they want to be “hipster city,” they need to have all sorts of activities to attract that young crowd of tourists as well as new homeowners,  besides the restaurant and bar scenes.

During the summer season, OG experiences parking gluts aggravated by A. Parkers who love the free parking in the Grove, especially at the North End.  But that “season” is widening in both directions on the calendar.

So, now, in the latest issue of the Coaster, we learn that AP developer Madison Marquette will partner with the State’s largest provider of arts programing—-the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, to produce “live performances, arts education and community engagement events on the Boardwalk.”    They are primarily referring to large crowd shows to be booked at the Convention Hall and the  Paramount Theater.  They plan to “boost the number of nights that these venues will be active, while broadening the diversity of audiences.”  We don’t know what “community engagement events” are.

An executive with the NJPAC  is quoted as saying, “Our vision with Madison Marquette is to make clear the diverse opportunities for entertainment 12 months per year.”

But. even more interesting, is the announcement that the Ocean Grove  Chamber of Commerce is encouraging homeowners to decorate their houses for Christmas so that they can lure tourists into the Grove for more shopping action on certain nights of the week, and that of course will increase congestion at Christmas time—a deeply meaningful holiday for many residents in the Grove.

And if you think that they are doing this to liven up our “community and neighborhoods” for the sake of OG residents, you are naive. When was the last time the Chamber has done anything to specifically promote or help our community and its neighborhoods?

Those Grovers who decorate for Christmas are to be congratulated for enlivening the festiveness of that “most wonderful time of the year.”  But they don’t need an organized program by the Chamber of Commercials to encourage them, including telling them when to turn their lights on.

This is from the Chamber announcement of town walks and house lighting events for one month this season. (2017):


When did the leading Christian organization in town push for such a plan?  I have never seen a mention of it in the OG history books.

Instead, the Camp Meeting Association celebrates Christmas with noteworthy organized non-commercial programs such as the Live Nativity, caroling, the Christmas tree lighting, religious services, and other community types of events that promote happiness in town and not an inducement to crowds of tourists who are oblivious to the fact that people actually live in the Grove.

And this is from the OG Chamber of Commerce web site:

“Ocean Grove is a great day trip from Philly or New York. An easy train or bus ride can avoid all the shore traffic as well.
Experience the Jersey Shore in Ocean Grove.   We are open year-round!”

There are those OG big-shots who write off our congestion complaints by minimizing the problem, saying “Oh, it’s just a few weekends at the peak of summer.”  But they have agendas and they are probably pleased that the commercialism of the Grove will be maximized, not minimized, and the historic small town agenda of residents will continue to be ignored.


Christmas Day, 2015. the Bellizia family of Ocean Grove. Photo by Prosper Bellizia. ©


It’s the most wonderful time of the year….PENTATONIX:




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Corner of Mt Tabor and Delaware Avenue. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Corner of Mt Tabor and Delaware Avenue. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge


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Asbury Avenue. OG. Dec. 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Asbury Avenue. OG. Dec. 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©



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December, 2009. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Mt. Hermon Way at Delaware Avenue.  December, 2009. By Paul Goldfinger © Click to enlarge.


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Paul Goldfinger © Santa Baby arrives in Ocean Grove on Christmas Eve. 2017.  Click for a better look in the dark.   Christmas in September, 2018.


HIM AND HER from their album Christmas Party   —It’s a waltz.

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Main Avenue.  Sunday morning By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. © Dec. 10. 2017.



Saturday night, Dec. 9, 2017 By Moe Demby. “No one was around on Main Avenue.” © Blogfinger staff photograph.


NANCY LAMOTT:  “All Those Christmas Clichés”




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Ocean Grove. Dec. 2014.  Blogfinger photo

Ocean Grove. Dec. 2014. Blogfinger photo

Ocean Grove.  Dec. 2014.  Blogfinger photo

Ocean Grove. Dec. 2014. Blogfinger photo




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Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff, led tours through the Shawmont. Hotel. By early afternoon, 240 had visited.  Paul Goldfinger photo.

Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff, led tours through the Shawmont Hotel. By early afternoon, 240 had visited. Paul Goldfinger photo.

JUSTIN BIEBER with MARIAH CAREY:   Album  Under The Mistletoe



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Ocean Grove. 2010. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Ocean Grove. 2010. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click left

JOSHUA BELL   “I Want an Old Fashioned Christmas”

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