The Light of Day Winterfest is a mainstay of Asbury Park, but in recent years the Light of Day Foundation has expanded their festival beyond the Jersey Shore to raise more funds and increase awareness of their battle against Parkinson’s disease. The Foundation hosted their 16th annual event this year in venues across New Jersey and lower New York state, including one Wednesday night at the Cutting Room in Manhattan. The biggest day remains Saturday in Asbury Park where multiple venues host numerous bands throughout the day and well into the night.
At the sold-out Cutting Room event, five bands were scheduled to play, including Willie Nile and his band, Dramarama (who played their favorite “Anything, Anything” both nights), and the Weeklings — all regular supporters of the Light of Day. In Asbury Park, the Paramount Theater slowly filled up through the night as bands like Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan (doing “Rockin’ in the Free World” with a bunch of their friends), Matt O’Ree Band, Dramarama, and Garland Jeffreys played the first half of the night. Across the street at the Wonder Bar, bands like Full Blown Cherry and Black Flamingos played rock with a surf bent.
None of the bands were paid for their efforts. They, like the fans, are bound to Light of Day by a sense of camaraderie and eagerly take time out of their schedule to perform several times during Winterfest to support the Foundation. Willie Nile makes sure his schedule is clear every year and local musician Anthony D’Amato was spotted around Asbury before popping on stage with D’Urso. Fans and attendees also showed their support for Light of Day by participating in a silent auction, which included prizes like autographed Springsteen merch or portable speakers, and a raffle with all the proceeds going to support Light of Day.