The wreaths have been hung, the trees festooned with lights, and this Friday Red Bank will signal the start of the holiday season when it flips the switch and sends a current of seasonal spirit coursing through its downtown.
But, if you happened to be out and about Sunday night, you would have gotten a sneak peek at what the fuss is all about.
A crew from Red Bank-based Powerhouse was out with a bucket truck applying the finishing touches to a job it started way back in the beginning of October. Each year Powerhouse hangs the downtown's holiday lights on every single Broad Street tree, taking a bucket full of white stringed lights up to the top of the tree and beginning the laborious process of providing not just coverage, but light symmetry, as well.
It's got to be dark and the lights have got to be on to ensure that they're being strung right, of course. Powerhouse owner Jim Bruno said the job used to be done in the middle of the night so as to not spoil the surprise, though he admitted it became increasingly difficult to convince his workers that holiday spirit was motivation enough to get them to lift themselves up 30 feet in the air in the middle of the cold night. Now it's just an evening job, and a bit of a teaser before Red Bank's big reveal.
With Friday's lighting less than a week away, Powerhouse was out making last-minute adjustments. Most of the downtown's trees were strung with lights prior to Hurricane Sandy, facilitating the need to make spot repairs, restringings and removals to trees and lights damaged during the storm. Fear not, however, the lighting is all set to go, he said.