July 3, 2002.
New Jersey's largest fireworks display is always spectacular and thousands attend each year. There are several main viewing areas and the original Marine Park location fills up first, then Riverside Gardens Park. Fireworks are set off from a barge on the Navesink River around 9:20 PM. If you want a good spot to view the fireworks you must arrive early.
Since Red Bank has some really fine restaurants, visitors usually have dinner before the fireworks. Street musicians always show up to entertain their friends and the general crowd. Because Broad Street is closed, some folks set up chairs in the middle of the street to avoid the mobs of people at the parks. Naturally they don't see the ground fireworks but most of the fireworks are aerial rockets which go up very high.
After dinner everyone enjoys people watching in the downtown area.
One of the reasons Marine Park fills up first is the live music before the fireworks. Walking around you see many families in colorful outfits having a great time.
Many visitors like to see the fireworks from Riverside Gardens Park. There are fewer trees at Riverside, so if you are not an "early bird" you may still get a good view. The fireworks barge is a few hundred yards off shore so viewing is great from any of the parks. To enhance the fireworks, music is piped into the parks from an FM radio station which synchronizes music to the fireworks. If you have a portable FM receiver, you can get the music direct.
If you park in downtown Red Bank, be aware that after the fireworks, the crowds empty out into the streets and have priority over cars. Also be aware that a monster traffic jam occurs every year and it may take an hour just to leave the center of town. Best bet is to take the train or hang around town until the traffic thins out or park a half mile from the center of town to make your escape.
Traffic not withstanding, the fireworks are always beautiful and it sure is a splendid way to visit Red Bank, NJ.