Holy Trinity pageant: So much cuteness in 15 minutes

16 Dec

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Early this afternoon I had the chance to attend the Children’s Christmas Pageant at Holy Trinity Church. It was probably the most adorable 15 minutes that I will spend this entire holiday season.

About 30 children, mostly 3 to 7-year olds, participated in the production, as Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, Wise Men, animals and narrators. Holy Trinity Parish Faith  Formation Coordinator Tricia Kull said the children only had two rehearsals in the last two weeks. But despite having such little time to prepare, she added, she was very proud on how quickly they fell into their roles and remembered what to do and where to stand.

I agree. They nailed it.

The whole pageant from beginning to end was only about 15 minutes. But in that short time, the large audience (mostly parishioners and proud parents and grandparents) was treated to well-prepared narration, passionate acting, angelic singing, a surprise guest and one clearly exhausted angel.

I’ve included a few photos here, but if you’d like to see a gallery of many more, click here.

 

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Knucklehead Craft Brewing is having a birthday!

13 Dec

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Knucklehead Craft Brewing in Webster turns four years old this weekend, and the entire beer-loving public is invited to help them celebrate.

The party takes place this Saturday Dec. 15 from 3 p.m. to midnight at the brew pub, 426 Ridge Road. And the Knuckleheads are planning quite the shindig.

For starters, there’s going to be a special food menu, and live music by Marty Roberts and Donny C. from 7:30 till 11:30 p.m. Plus, one of the pub’s most decadent beers — the Russian Imperial Stout — will make its annual return appearance, joined by the award-winning Tainted Haze IPA.

Webster’s first and only craft brewery has grown up a lot since it opened in 2014. They updated their kitchen and expanded their menu, added merchandise, more equipment to streamline their brewing process, more staff, and regular live music.

Check it all out for yourself at Knucklehead Craft Brewing’s fourth anniversary party, Saturday December 15 from 3 p.m. to midnight, and wish the Knuckleheads a happy birthday!

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road in West Webster, at the corner of Bay. Check out their webpage here and their Facebook page here. They’re open Wednesday and Thursday 4 to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 3 to 11 pm, and Sunday 2 to 7 p.m., and the kitchen is open every day.

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Webster community helps to Make Spirits Bright

12 Dec

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The community of Webster pulled together in a huge way on Monday night when about 150 children and adults gathered in the Willink Middle School cafetorium. Their task: to wrap 1600 Christmas gifts in two hours.

The event was a culmination of a months-long volunteer effort run by Webster residents Colleen Bedford and Jamie Buss, heads of nonprofit Making Spirits Bright, a program of The Goodness Initiative.

Every year for the past five years, Bedford and Buss have reached out to area schools, social workers and poverty organizations to identify families in need. From there they recruited area businesses, organizations and community members to purchase clothing, necessities, furniture and gifts on behalf of those families.

This year, thanks to the amazing support of the Webster community, Making Spirits filled the wish lists for 47 families, half of them from Webster, bringing the five-year total to almost 200 families.

The scene at Willink on Monday night was impressive. When the volunteer wrappers arrived, they were directed to assigned tables in the cafetorium, each of which was piled high with gifts and plenty of wrapping paper, tape, tags, bows and scissors. Only 20 minutes into the event, the place already looked like Santa’s workshop. But instead of elves, there were high school students, athletes, moms and dads and kids, and representatives from the Webster Police Department, NEQALS, West Webster and North East Joint fire departments.

Here are some photos of some of these amazing people:

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Two blood drives in our area NOW

11 Dec

blood dropThe American Red Cross is back in town today and tomorrow, with two more convenient chances for you to donate blood and help save lives.

The need is especially dire at this time of year — pretty  much every year — because people get so busy and just don’t make the time to donate. Please, don’t be one of those people.

Here are the details:

  • Tuesday December 11, St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday December 12, Webster Knight of Columbus, 70 Barrett Drive, 1 to 7 p.m.

It only takes about an hour, and you can do your Christmas shopping afterwards.

Even if you don’t have an appointment, stop in anyway and they’ll be delighted to see you. I’ll be at St. Martin’s at about 4:15, so if you’re there, make sure to say hi!

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Don’t miss this holiday light display

10 Dec

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If you and your family like traveling around the neighborhoods during the holidays to see the different Christmas light displays, read on, because I want to tell you about one that you shouldn’t miss.

It’s at the home of Charlie and Cora Venishel, 100 Henderson Drive in Penfield (across from the library and Penfield Recreation Center).  For years, in addition to an incredible front and back-yard light display, the Venishels hosted a magical Christmas town inside their home, with a gingerbread house toy shop, miniature villages, hundreds of nutcrackers, electric trains, exquisitely decorated dining rooms, and more. For a small donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, families could enjoy the front yard decorations, tour the village, then wander out into the backyard where thousands more lights twinkled. (Click here to read the D&C column I wrote about it.)

The couple hosted the event for ten years, raising more than $30,000 for Ronald McDonald House. After the 2015 season, they decided to hand off the villages to their children. But they’ve continued to set up their amazing front yard display in the years since, and have added something new every year.

Visitors will see all varieties of Christmas trees, trumpeting angels, icicles, lighted walkways, huge “Season’s Greetings” sign on the roof, Santa’s mailbox, and an Ice Princess’ castle, all illuminated with somewhere around 25,000 twinkling lights. There are also giant candy canes and life-sized snowman, and an antique, refurbished sleigh with Santa and Mrs. Claus, led by eight reindeer (and Rudolph, of course).

Like many private home Christmas light displays, the effect is breathtaking. But what’s different is the Venishels’ continued commitment to helping others. They’re encouraging visitors to help them raise money for AutismUp, a local organization dedicated to supporting those with autism spectrum disorder. They’ve put a mailbox at the end of the driveway for anyone who might like to drop in a dollar or two for the cause.

So make sure to stop by the Venishels’ display, 100 Henderson Drive. Park for a bit and actually wander down the sidewalk to the Ice Princess’ castle. Then tuck a few bucks into the mailbox before you leave. It’s a great way to share the joy and love of the holiday season.

 

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Another anniversary in the village

6 Dec

ploty'sHot on the heels of the anniversary blog about Yesterday’s Muse which posted on Tuesday, here’s more news about yet another anniversary being celebrated in the village this week.

Ploty’s Hometown Tavern turns one year old this week, and owner Eric Plotzger has a pretty exciting anniversary celebration planned for Saturday.

Ploty’s is located at  27 West Main Street, on the lower level of shops behind The Coach and Mozzeroni’s. You may remember The Vino Lounge being there for a few years.

I met Eric the first time at a table he’d set up on Main Street during 2017’s Halloween in the Village. His new pub wasn’t even open yet, but he had a big “coming soon” sign and was handing out beer cozies. It was just after Christmas that I made arrangements to visit the newly opened tavern and meet Eric and his wife Kourtney. Here’s the blog I wrote introducing Ploty’s to the village.

Ploty’s has since become my second-favorite pub in the Village of Webster (y’all know what my favorite pub is). The people are always friendly, the service is fast, there’s a nice selection of reasonably priced beers, the bar snacks are top-notch and there are a lot of sports on the TVs, if you’re into that.

Ploty’s anniversary celebration takes place this Saturday Dec. 8. It’s officially Pajama Night, so everyone is invited to wear their finest (appropriate) PJs. Amanda Ashley will provide live entertainment beginning at 8 p.m., there will be giveaways, drink specials and a cake to celebrate both the anniversary AND Eric’s 41st birthday.  Check out their Facebook page for more details.

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Yesterday’s Muse turns 10

5 Dec

One of my favorite village businesses is turning ten years old this month, and they’re planning a big celebration to mark the occasion.

Yesterday’s Muse, purveyors of used, rare and collectible books, opened the day of the 2008 White Christmas in the Village. I was thoroughly charmed and impressed by this little shop from the first day I walk through the doors later that month met the owner, Jonathan Smalter.  The reading nerd in me geeked out at the large, well-organized and attractively priced collection of used books.

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Since that day, Jonathan has continued to grow his impressive collection of first editions, signed editions, and rare volumes, along with the more “mundane” used books more in line with my interest and price range. He has also continued to be very involved in our community, always participating in village special events like White Christmas and the Trick or Treat Trail.

But the best change of all was when Jonathan married Kristine.

On his website, Jonathan reflected on the last ten years, writing:

Ten years. In a way it seems like it came and went in a flash; in other ways, I feel like the shop has been a part of my life forever. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, and guided me along the way.

My reliable staff members, Robert and Holly, deserve a hearty thank you for their hard work and dedication. My wonderful wife, Kristine, deserves an abundance of credit for putting up with the demands running a small business has put on me over the years, and for teaching me to how to keep smiling, and how to be patient on those inevitable days of frustration. She even took the time to commission a painting of the shop, which now hangs on the wall here as a reminder of how far we have come together.

Without you loyal customers, my faithful friends, and supportive family members, not only would doing this not be possible, it would not be worth it. I am proud to be a part of this community, and hope to remain one for a long time. I hope you will all continue to be a part of the shop’s story.

And now, on to the details of the celebration.

Yesterday’s Muse’s 10th Anniversary Open House will be held Saturday Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, a raffle, and all items priced $10 or less will be buy-one-get-one-free. Larger purchases will also be discounted through Dec. 14, including $10 off purchases $40 and over, and $25 off purchases $100 and over.

Other sales will also be in effect through the month of December. For details, sign up for the shop’s monthly newsletter on the Yesterday’s Muse website. 

Yesterday’s Muse is located at 32 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster.

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Christmas trees galore, thanks to the Webster Museum

4 Dec
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A look at the raffle prizes you can still win at the Webster Museum this week. 

Late yesterday afternoon after I got home from work, I got a very nice phone call from Amy at the Webster Museum. She told me that I had won one of the two Christmas trees that the museum was offering as part of their annual holiday raffle.

I had entered the raffle when I stopped by the museum during White Christmas in the Village on Saturday. So many gorgeous raffle prizes were piled on a table in the museum’s main room, but I was set on winning one of the fat Christmas trees which stood near the front entrance. After all, with the price of cut-your-own trees these days, combined with the hassle of slogging through the mud and snow to get one, I considered the $5 I plunked down for the raffle a good bet.

Turns out it was a very wise investment.

I tell you this story mostly because I want to give a public shout-out and thank you to the Webster Museum for not only hosting the raffle, but also delivering the tree to my door within an hour of when they called. Also, I want to thank Woody Acres in Penfield for donating the tree, and supporting our museum.

The raffle, by the way, is still going on this week. Even if the two trees are gone, there are still plenty of incredible raffle prizes to be won. Cost is just $5 for three entries, which will be accepted through the end of this week.

And while you’re there, make sure to check out the museum’s Festival of Trees. This annual event features adorable little 4-foot tall trees set up throughout the museum, each of which has been adopted and decorated by an individual, family or local organization. I snapped a few photos when I was there to give you an idea of what you’ll find (check out the slideshow below), but you really have to see them all for yourself.

Plus, you have to vote, Serious bragging rights are on the line for the most creative tree.  Votes are being taken through the end of the month.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. They’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Call 585-265-3308 for more information.

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Photos from White Christmas in the Village

2 Dec

IMG_0015Once again we didn’t have a whole lot of white for Webster’s White Christmas in the Village. But I’ll wager that the thousands who came into town for the cookies, wagon rides, caroling and visits with Santa appreciated the unusually warm temperatures.

We could have done without the light rain, though, which began just as the parade started.

Still, it was another successful event. The village looked beautiful, the businesses were all decked out in their holiday finery, and several who remained open throughout the afternoon benefited from a steady flow of holiday shoppers.

Of course I took a lot of photos. Many of them didn’t come out very well because of the low light and wet conditions, but I hope you enjoy what I did manage to get:

Click here to see the gallery. 

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Two holiday events to start the season

1 Dec
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At St. Martin last night, this young lady had to make sure her letter to Santa was placed in his mailbox before visiting with him. 

Happy December!

There are so many holiday events on the calendar over the next few weeks. This weekend is a particularly busy one, with the White Christmas in the Village celebration today leading the list.

I can’t make it to every one, but I did catch a few community parties last night at St. Martin Lutheran Church and Plank Rd. North Elementary School.

St. Martin’s annual Christmas party is terrific. And it’s always the first place every Christmas season that I get to see Santa. The church’s community room is nicely decorated, the volunteers are dressed like elves, there’s free pizza and cookies, and the Girl Scouts run games for the children.

I was really impressed how volunteers were taking beautiful photos of children with Santa, then immediately running them off on a color printer for parents to take home with them. What a treasure.

Here’s a little video of photos from the evening:

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Plank North’s Share the Season is always fun as well. There’s caroling around the piano, Christmas cookies to be frosted and sprinkled, and lots of holiday crafts — ornaments and wreaths — which kids and adults make to be donated to different community agencies.

Here are some photos from last night:

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I’ll be walking around with my camera all afternoon today, and definitely during the parade of lights tonight. Hope to see you all!

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