anne_mikolay_120Red Bank will once again host its Ka-Boom celebration with lively entertainment and fireworks over the Navesink on July 3rd. This year, however, the Ka-Boom committee is approximately 25% short of covering the $200,000 it costs to organize this event, and for the first time in its history, will solicit donations by  “passing the bucket” among the nearly 150,000 attendees. Despite this, Peter Reinhart, Ka-Boom chairman, has promised that the state of the economy will not affect the quality of this year’s celebration. Garden State Fireworks will once again provide the fireworks display, and thanks to the community spirit of musicians like Josh Zuckerman and his band, the evening’s entertainment will be stellar.

Last summer, Josh Zuckerman and the Josh Zuckerman Band wowed the audience at their first appearance at the Ka-Boom celebration, and despite the Ka-Boom committee’s current economic constraints, they are happy to be back at Marine Park again this year.

“We had the most amazing experience performing last year at Ka-boom,” Zuckerman commented. “To be asked back again is an absolute honor and privilege! The money has never been an issue, as we continue to focus on doing what we love, as we always get paid back in more ways than any dollar amount can be measured.”

josh_marine_parkNo stranger to charitable causes, Zuckerman and his lead guitarist, Steve DeVito, regularly lend their considerable talents to those in need. They have performed benefits for the 4H Kids for Kids organization, Red Bank’s Lunch Break program, as well as private fund raisers. Zuckerman recently released his third CD, “Got Love;” his previous CDs included his number one hit, “Out From Under.” Josh Zuckerman is an accomplished songwriter and musician who unleashes a whirlwind of energy on stage, and is more than happy to share his talents with others.

Like Zuckerman, guitarist Steve DeVito doesn’t allow the economy to get him down. DeVito, a hands-on guy willing to help out anybody in need, more than lives up to his lighthearted title of “the Unofficial Mayor of Middletown.” For DeVito, Ka-Baoom represents an opportunity to give back to the community, and celebrate American spirit.

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

“In these troubled times, the Ka-Boom event is a great way for us to come together in the spirit of patriotism,” DeVito said. “It (Ka-Boom) becomes more than a show. It’s about the feeling you get when we are there for each other. I would have to imagine our veterans and current members of our military become quite proud when they witness it, too. Watching the fireworks and celebrating our great nation’s independence under the stars, with tens of thousands of people, is quite an experience. That’s my motivation more than anything for doing this event. It’s a way to give back to the community. Even though there are budget struggles with this year’s event, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I didn’t ask how much; I asked, what time?!”

If you’re planning to be in Red Bank this weekend for the Ka-Boom celebration, drop a little something in the fund raising bucket when it comes your way. And make sure you are at Marine Park at 8:30 p.m. when Josh Zuckerman, accompanied by Steve DeVito on lead guitar, and Bayshore Music instructors Chris Russo on drums, and Matt Morris on bass, takes the stage. Give Josh and Steve, and all the Ka-Boom performers a rousing hand of applause. Thank them for not being motivated by the dollar, and for performing for the crowds in celebration of the 4th despite the slumping economy. Thank them for kicking in for Ka-Boom.

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Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...