Ohhhhh, the pain … of pandemic distancing? Well, when you look back at some scary Santa experiences, you start to think, uh, not so much. The pandemic may have spared some kids a lifetime of PTSD flashbacks of Beelzebub cloaked in ol’ Saint Nick garb and merriment.Continue reading Focus: Classic Santa Slaying Moments
A reprise from Dec. 13, 2018, because everyone needs a little reminder of Santa time close up and personal …
As if one classic 1960s snapshot of a Fair Haven kid perched on Santa’s lap wasn’t enough … Clearly it wasn’t.
It’s the year without close Santa encounters. Santa came to town, but not to the Fair Haven firehouse, as with every year since the dawn of most area kids’ time. We’re told there have been some other masked, distanced Santa visits in 2020 pandemic holiday times, but the laptop visit is out, so is the firehouse extravaganza. So, in honor of the traditional visit, whispers, close-up scary gander at that beard, promises of being good and gifts, our annual reprise takes everyone back to that firehouse visit … or wherever … with Ol’ Saint Nick …
It’s that time of the year when a longstanding Fair Haven tradition has taken hold — photos at the firehouse with Santa.
It’s another Fair Haven tradition you can always count on.
I remember …Continue reading Retro Santa Firehouse Visit Times
This year was a holiday first — the year without a tree lighting gala in Fair Haven.Continue reading Retro Santa’s Reindeer Magic
There’s no keeping Santa from a little pre-Christmas drop-in, pandemic or not, especially when there’s a fire truck for the transport.
On the heels of a canceled usual holiday celebration in Fair Haven’s Memorial Park and knee-top Santa time at the firehouse, sirens a blaring, Santa cruised all the way around town on Sunday. Fair Havenite Susan Culbert captured a moment of the drive-by.Continue reading Scene Around: Fair Haven Santa Cruising & Musing
It’s always a classic — that Santa and the happy, Christmas-loving kid photo that goes awry.Continue reading Retro ‘Santa Slays Me’ Moments
Well, the weather outside was threatening to be slightly frightful on Friday night as Fair Haven’s Tree Lighting and Holiday Stroll got under way. But, despite a little drizzle rain, the annual tradition went on without a hitch. Delightful.
The stage for holiday merriment was set at the usual spot at Memorial Park, people gathered, Santa arrived via firetruck, the tree was lit strolling and festivities abounded.
Take a look for a glimpse into the night … (And don’t forget to CLICK to ENLARGE and scroll!)
— Photos/Elaine Van Develde
You didn’t have to know lifetime Rumson and Fair Havenite Chris Bertell for him to have touched your life and put a smile on your face, if only for a moment, especially at holiday time. That’s because he was the guy who, year after year, set a festive, antique Santa-driven Ford Model T on his River Road lawn. It was a traffic stopper. It was also a heart warmer.
And when people think back on holiday time in Fair Haven, most remember that guy, Chris Bertell, who set out to spread a little joy with a car, some lights and good ol’ Saint Nick. They also remember him as the guy in town who loved antique cars and dalmatians and shared that love with many.
Bertell also saw many through emergencies as a 30-year life member of the Fair Haven Fire Department many-time president and ex-captain of the department’s Fire Police. He was also that go-to guy in the community for electrical repairs with his longtime business, Chris’ Electric.
Bertell, also a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and member of the Masons, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Riverview Medical Center. He was 88.
A memorial is set for Bertell from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.22. There will be a fire company service at 11. And The avid volunteer and lover of antique cars and dalmatians
Chris is survived by: his wife of 60 years Frieda “Ruth” (Dudley); and his cousin, Vincent Domidion, of Morganville.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Chris’ name to the ASPCA, 260 Wall Street, PO Box 93, Eatontown, NJ 07724.
RIP, Chris Bertell. You are remembered.
It’s that kind of holiday-laced weekend again. And there are a couple of events in the area that will have you humming, ho-hoing or strung up, in a festive sense.
On Saturday, if you’d like to venture a bit out of the Rumson-Fair Haven area, there’s a holiday gift of song that awaits you …
You are cordially invited to celebrate the holiday season with a festive after noon concert. Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society will present RINGING IN THE HOLIDAYS — a fun concert of vocal harmonies — on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Ocean Township High School Auditorium, 550 West Park Avenue, Oakhurst.
This is a merry group of harmonizing singers. You really have to see them to get your spirits soaring.
The concert will feature traditional holiday favorites sung in 4-part harmony by the Chorus of the Atlantic — a group of male harmony singers under the direction of Craig J. Page.
Also appearing on stage will be the Matinee Idles, a group of retired men that perform for area organizations in the afternoons. The Matinee Idles will sing some favorites and share some laughter and good cheer, under the direction of Will McCain.
In addition, there will be some special guests … Ocean Chamber Choir from Ocean Township High School under the direction of Teddy Kernizan.
And Santa is rumored to show.
Tickets are $18 for general admission, $15 for seniors and students, free for children age 16 and younger. Tickets are available at the door. Please call ahead to buy your tickets and save $3 per ticket. Call 732-784-7343 and leave your name and phone number.
The Chorus of the Atlantic welcomes visitors to their rehearsals. They meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30 – 10 p.m. beginning Jan. 8, 2019 at the Red Bank Middle School, Harding Road, Red Bank.
And on Sunday …
Santa will park himself in a chair at the Fair Haven Firehouse from 1 to 3 p.m. to visit with all the good boys and girls around the towns and offer gifts and candy.
Word on the street is that Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will also be seen riding around town in the fire truck from noon to 1 p.m. as a precursor to the classic holiday event.
And all through the weekend and beyond …
Let your holiday decorations shine and be judged, as Fair Haven sets in motion its new festive decor contest. Which house is the most festive? Only residents know for sure.
Here we go again … revisiting one of those unforgettable trips to Santa that may be all too familiar … Yes, it’s time again for a little remembrance of the time-honored holiday tradition of the not-always-so-smooth Santa visit at the Fair Haven Firehouse, among other festive places.
Sometimes you just win a trifecta when asking for a winning photo of children’s miserable experiences on the lap of Ol’ Saint Nick during the holidays.Continue reading Retro ‘Ho No’ Santa Trauma III
Santa Claus came to Fair Haven on Friday. Well, he rode down the street in the firetruck to the annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Stroll, after arriving from the North Pole, of course. Something like that.
Tradition is the cornerstone of the 1.4-square-mile borough. It prevailed on a chilly Friday evening laced with a community spirit of comfort and warmth. Nestled in a time-honored corner at Memorial Park, young helpers helped, officials officiated, families flocked, friends got festive and, once again, Santa came to town.
Take a look at the smiles and get a glimpse into what transpired … (And don’t forget to click to enlarge!)
— Elaine Van Develde