The Asbury Park Boardwalk offers an exciting lineup of holiday events, performances and experiences curated by Madison Marquette, the real estate investor, developer and service provider that owns and manages the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Beginning Friday, November 29th, with a free movie screening of National Lampoon’s popular “Christmas Vacation” at Paramount Theatre, and continuing into the weekend with the Boardwalk’s 12th annual Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, the kickoff of the 2019 Holiday Bazaar and Small Business Saturday events, as well as the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, this year’s festivities make the Asbury Park Boardwalk the place to be for the holidays.
One of the most memorable events of the 2019 season will be the Boardwalk’s 12th annual Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, which will take place on Saturday, November 30th, in the Grand Arcade located at 1300 Ocean Avenue. Award-winning NBC New York journalist Brian Thompson will act as emcee. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for this spectacular event, which is free and open to the public; attendees are encouraged to come early as space is limited. During this awe-inspiring event, at 6:45 p.m., the Boardwalk’s 35-foot Douglas Fir tree – the tallest live indoor tree in the state – will come alive, bathing the Grand Arcade in light. A magnificent work of both nature and art, this year’s Christmas tree will take one dozen people, four pieces of heavy machinery, and over 300 hours to raise and decorate it with an astonishing 40,000 glowing lights. The towering Christmas tree will serve as the backdrop for the Grand Arcade’s stage with live performances by the Asbury All Stars Holiday Band prior to and following the lighting event.
Following the ceremony, Santa Claus himself will make his first appearance on the Boardwalk this year, offering opportunities for children, pets and their families to share wish lists and memorable moments with the jolly old elf. Sponsored by Shoreline Media Marketing, children and pets can have their photos taken with Santa beginning on November 30th and continuing each Sunday afternoon from noon to 3 p.m. through December 22nd. Guests are encouraged to bring a donation of a toy or gently used coat for the Asbury Park Toy & Coat Drive to receive a 4×6 print along with an emailed copy of their photos with Santa.
Immediately following the tree-lighting ceremony, there will also be a family-friendly holiday rock event presented by The Wizards of Winter at Paramount Theatre; the concert begins at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are required. Combining the tree lighting and Wizards of Winter concert will give visitors a fun-filled holiday evening they will long remember.
Other noteworthy events on the Asbury Park Boardwalk this holiday season include the kickoff of the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar and Small Business Saturday. Both events take place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 30th, in Convention Hall. Inspired by the traditional “Weihnachtsmarkts” holiday markets in Germany, the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar will feature local and regional artists, vendors and shops each selling the best vintage and handmade art, jewelry, home goods, food and more November 30th and each subsequent weekend from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through December 22nd. During the bazaar, visitors will also enjoy a hot drink bar with traditional glühwein (hot mulled wine), hot chocolate or hot cider to sip while shopping; a seasonally inspired menu; and holiday drinks at the Anchors Bend and Asbury Oyster Bar. There will also be live music, special performances, children’s classes and holiday workshops, photo booth pictures, a fireplace lounge and, of course, stunning holiday décor for all to enjoy.