Annual Red Bank Christmas tree lighting ceremony goes on despite pandemic

Red Bank held its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday evening, but without large crowds of townspeople.
This was the 28th year of the tree lighting. And Red Bank officials say that they wanted to keep the tradition alive even though it had to be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We all need that. You need to be reminded of a normal time and spending time with friends, family, whatever it is. Hopefully, people got a taste of that yesterday when they had their turkey,” says Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Laura Kirkpatrick.
Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says that he was happy that some of the tradition was kept alive, even if they couldn’t have all of the pomp and circumstance.
“We did it. And we’ll keep on doing it, God willing,” the mayor says.
This year the over 30-year-old tree was donated by Pam Jenning,s of Little Silver. Jennings lives just a few minutes away from the Red Bank park in a tradition that ensures a new local community member gets a chance to donate the tree every year.
"Well, I hope it brings them as much joy as it has to us over the years and all the little critters that lived in it over the years that found happiness and a home,” Jennings says.
The tree lighting event kicked off a weekend full of holiday events, including Small Business Saturday and Artists Sunday.
Artists Sunday showcases local artists and encourages patrons to buy local art as holiday presents.