Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes rocks evening for West End Cruise Night
Long Branch: Longtime resident and Councilwoman Dr. Mary Jane Celli beamed brightly on Saturday evening on the stage at the West End car show as her son Michael lead the local crowd in singing Happy Birthday to a most surprised “MJ”.
Mayor Adam Schneider recalled their first time serving together. "It was 18years, one month and 19 days ago", he said as he greeted her. Council President Kate Billings welcomed her to the stage and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and The Key to the City as councilmembers John Pallone and Joy Bastelli joined in the Best Wishes. Councilman Michael Sirianni sent his best wishes to the festive occasion.
It was a night of fun as the season’s second West End Cruise Night was a display of hundreds of vintage autos, filling Brighton Avenue from Ocean to the railroad crossing with spectators, enjoying the fabulous evening weather and the food and refreshments from the many businesses along the way.
Arthur Green from West Long Branch added a special treat for auto fans with an exhibit of Go Karts from the 1950’s. The high powered vehicles were the hobby of many racing fans. “It is a real adrenalin rush to drive one of these vehicles. They can travel at 50 and were not kids’ toys,” he said, pointing out the two he had rebuilt over the winter.
On the stages, local favorite Ron Weinstein’s Kootz Band performed in concert at West End Park. At the Main Stage Long Branch Pat Joyce’s Cherubs delighted the crowds with old favorites.
Young Donald Evens, a Long Branch student sang his first solo with a smooth and enjoyable delivery that showed a new talent from the city. “A voice we will hear again and again, said Emcee Lee Greenwood, the man who first introduced cars shows to the city. He announced the 50-50 went to Joe winner from Holmdel, a $759 winner.
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes took it from there with their Philadelphia touch, Rock-n-Roll at its best, bringing applause with each number. “If You Don’ Know Me By Now” started the program and gave the excited audience a hint of the great music that continued until closing at 10 p.m.