Triumvirate of Local Bands to Host Annual Beach Haven Fire Co. Block Party

Sep 27, 2012

For the first time since it began in 1995, the Beach Haven Fire Co.’s Annual Block Party will feature three bands, providing live musical entertainment while attendees enjoy food, drink and fun-filled activities at the family-friendly event.

The block party runs from noon to 8 p.m. this Saturday at the firehouse on Amber Street, where a block will be closed to traffic from Bay Avenue to Delaware Avenue.

This year locally grown bands The Rock Lobsters and Chef George’s Brain Stew will return to serve up their recipes of classic and modern rock covers. Meanwhile, a new band has joined the fray – Garage Kept, a band that formed earlier this summer whose members have deep ties to the Beach Haven community.

Butch McCaffrey, 60, is former police chief of Beach Haven and though he has been playing guitar and singing for years, being in a band is a new and welcome experience for him. McCaffrey has been jamming alongside Dave DeCarlo, who used to own Kaplar’s Pharmacy in Beach Haven, as well as Billy Stasi, who once worked there. Gary Scheimreif worked for the borough street department and has since retired. Drummer Pete Anderson rounds out the group, which focuses on classic rock and oldies covers and played at the Beach Haven firehouse pig roast in June.

“At our age we’re not looking for a recording contract,” said McCaffrey. “When we played for other people they thought it sounded good. It’s just fun when you put a song together and people like it.”

Garage Kept takes the stage at 2 p.m., followed by Chef George’s Brain Stew at 4 p.m. and The Rock Lobsters at 6 p.m. Tuckerton deejay D.J. Mario will keep the music going in between sets.

“The big thing for me is performing in my hometown, said “Chef” George Fisher of Tuckerton, who plays drums for Brain Stew and whose parents owned Fisher’s Diner in Beach Haven. “I look forward to going each year to see all the people I grew up with.”

Beach Haven firefighters will be on the grill tossing burgers and turning hot dogs. Soft pretzels, soda and popcorn will be available, as well as pork roll sandwiches. Inflatable “bouncy houses” will be accessible to the children who attend, and a bicycle, provided by Hudson House Bar, will be auctioned off.

Admission is free, though donations to the fire company are encouraged and accepted as the block party represents one of the fire company’s two largest fundraisers of the year. For $20, those old enough to do so earn a beer mug and five beer tickets with additional tickets available for purchase.

The event usually draws around 1,500 people throughout the day, said Deputy Chief Lewis Letts, who explained many come from the nearby Taylor Avenue ball field where the Merchants Mart takes place each year, creating a crowd of locals mixed with visitors from afar.

“It’s fun for our guys,” said Letts. “It’s a busy, long day, but they enjoy it and they get to meet a whole bunch of people and hang out.”

— Michael Molinaro

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