Archive | October, 2021

Photos from the Trick or Treat Trail

31 Oct

Well, it wasn’t as warm or sunny as we’ve experienced some years, and not as dry as most. But the few showers that we had yesterday afternoon didn’t deter hundreds of kids and their adults from strolling the Village of Webster’s streets during this year’s Trick-or-Treat Trail.

More than two dozen businesses participated this year, as well as the Webster Museum and Webster Volunteer Fire Department, which always uses the day to host its annual open house. The costume contest, modified this year to become a Covid-friendly walk-through event, ran so smoothly that I dare say it might become the norm for future years.

It’s always great to see how much fun the kids have, and how proud they are of their costumes. But I especially like seeing how many adults dress up as well, often as part of a family theme. It’s one of my favorite days of the year.

Many thanks to all the parents who let me stop them in their tracks so I could take photos. There’s more than 150 in my Facebook gallery, so there’s a good chance you’ll see yourself and your kids, or at least someone you know.

I’ve posted a few photos here, but click here to see the gallery.

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Trick-or-Treat Trail and costume contest details

28 Oct

Looks like the weather’s going to be a little bit iffy on Saturday, but nothing is going to stop this year’s Webster Village Trick-or-Treat Trail. ‘Cause we need this to help life return to normal.

As always, the day will begin with a costume contest, but this year it will look a little different. Instead of everyone crowding into the Village Meeting Room for photos and judging, participants are being asked to do a meeting room walk-through. Here’s what I mean:

From 11 a.m. to noon, contestants will enter the meeting room via the parking lot side of the building (behind the fire house), fill out an entry form, be given an entry number, have their photo taken, and exit through the South Ave. side of the building. After all the photos have been reviewed, winners will be notified on Monday Nov. 1. (And I’ll post the winners here as well.)

The Trick-or-Treat Trail proper begins at noon and goes until 2:30 p.m. Grab your kids, get everyone into costumes (including you, too, Mom and Dad), then stroll through the village, visiting friendly merchants who will be handing out candy. This is a great chance to check out some of the newer businesses in town, or even some older businesses you’ve never been in before.

And make sure you stop by the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept., because they’ll be holding their annual open house, complete with demonstrations, free fire hats, and candy of course. And turn the corner on Lapham Park to take the short walk to the Webster Museum. The volunteers there always have something special planned.

Keep an eye out for me and my camera; I’ll be wandering the streets, too, taking photos of as many kids and families in costume as I can. Then I’ll post a really big photo gallery on Monday.

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Webster community mailbag

27 Oct

Halloween is just a few days away, which means that Christmas is just around the corner. The Webster Museum is getting ready.

The Museum recently announced that their Festival of Trees will return this year in person. Last year’s virtual, photographic festival was okay, but it just wasn’t the same as being able to stroll through the museum and see all of the creatively decorated contestants up close and personal.

Here are the details:

  • Families, individuals, Scout troops, classrooms, clubs, organizations, ALL are invited to decorate a miniature Christmas tree using a family-friendly theme.
  • The trees are provided by the museum.
  • Decorating takes place after Thanksgiving and voting begins during White Christmas in the Village on Dec. 4.
  • Trees will be registered to callers starting at noon on November 1. Please call Kathy at 313-3709 and leave a message with your name and phone number so your call can be returned. Call early as number of trees is limited. Please be prepared to supply: caller’s name, email and phone number; decorator’s name, email and phone number; any special needs (location, lights, etc.) You’ll receive a follow-up email about dates/times to decorate.

The Webster Central School District has announced that Interim Superintendent of Schools Brian Neenan has accepted the position as Webster CSD’s new superintendent of schools. The board of education will officially approve the appointment at its Tuesday, Nov. 2 meeting. 

Neenan served as interim superintendent of schools since April 30, 2021. Prior to that appointment, Neenan worked in a dual role as WCSD’s deputy superintendent (2015-2021) and assistant superintendent for instruction (2013-2021). He began his career in Webster as principal of Willink Middle School (2009-2013). Before coming to Webster, he served as an assistant principal at Victor CSD’s junior high school for four years.  

The Webster Recreation Center is hosting a Halloween-themed fitness event this Saturday morning, and everyone is invited regardless of fitness level or Rec Center membership.

The HIGH Fitness class will run from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., and participants are encouraged to wear costumes (although they’re not required). There will be drawings for prizes at the end of the class.

HIGH Fitness is a modern-day choreographed aerobics class that combines cardio peaks, toning tracks, and popular music. Athletic shoes are required and all fitness levels are welcome. The Webster Recreation Center is the only facility in Wester New York that currently offers HIGH Fitness.

No registration is required and Rec Center members and non-members are all welcome.  The Webster Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Dr., off of Phillips Rd.

This news also from the Webster Museum about their current exhibit, which is being held in conjunction with the Webster Public Library.

Webster Museum’s Exhibit Committee has curated an exhibit called “Living off the Land.” Artifacts from the museum’s extensive collections, many of them donated by Webster residents, are on display both in the museum’s display case at the Webster Library and at the Webster Museum. The exhibit tells the story of folks who settled here and the items they brought, made or invented in order to make a life for themselves and their families.

The Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park in the village, is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 pm.

And as long as we’re talking about the library, I just got word about three great adult programs coming up soon.

  • Thursday Nov. 4, 7 to 8 p.m. — Discovering Your Roots: an introduction to genealogy and planning a geneaology vacation.
  • Wednesday Nov. 10, noon: Medicare 101, an introduction and update to the federally administered health insurance program
  • Wednesday Nov. 10, 7 to 8 p.m. — Dream Cakes Cookie Decorating: learn some decorating tips and tricks and amaze your friends and family

Pre-registration is required and there is a $10 charge for the cookie decorating class. Click on the images below for more information.

Finally, a few newsy notes from our neighbor to the south.

Annual Arts and Craft Fair at Penfield Community Center

The Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) program at Penfield Recreation will be hosting its second annual Arts and Craft Fair on Saturday Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd.

This event will showcase 53 vendors from around Monroe County selling their hand-crafted wares. Admission is free and is open to the public. Masks are required for this indoor event. Refreshments will be available.

This event is a fundraiser to support the DEAR program at Penfield Recreation, which provides free life-long learning opportunities to seniors in our community.

For more information call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655, option 0.

Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf needs turkeys

Once again this year, the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf will be collecting frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Food Shelf staff are especially requesting turkeys from 8 to 14 lbs., which are the best sizes for their families in need.

Drop off for Thanksgiving will be Saturday morning Nov. 20 between 7:30 and 8:30am at the Food Shelf, 1618 Jackson Rd. Drop off for Christmas will be Saturday Dec. 18 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., also at the Food Shelf. If other arrangements are needed for dropoff, email

Turkeys will soon be on sale at local grocery stores, so this would be a great time to pick up an extra one and help those in our community who have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. The Food Shelf’s family numbers have increased quite a bit this year, as you can imagine; they’re planning on providing 225 families with dinner for each holiday.

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Crafty Christy’s: A vintage store for the flower child in all of us

26 Oct

A cute, spunky little boutique moved into the Village of Webster recently, quietly setting up shop off the lower parking lot at 7 West Main St. 

Crafty Christy’s Boutique opened several weeks ago, next door to the rear entrance of the Village Smoke Shop, just across from the gazebo. Stocked with vintage clothing, handmade and vintage jewelry and artfully decorated items, owner Christina Barnum describes her shop as “a boutique for the flower child at heart.” 

“This is a very unique boutique,” she said.”My theory is recycle, reuse, recreate. So at least 50% of what is in here is upcycled, which I made from something else. It’s what I do best. I have a knack for finding things, putting things together…. (with my) little bohemian flair.”

I call Crafty Christy’s Boutique “spunky” because it exists only because of Christina’s conviction and downright determination. 

This is actually the fourth time she’s tried to make a go of it. After operating a home-grown boutique from her Penfield home for a while, in 2015 she opened up her first shop behind the old Toy-Go-Round in Webster. Then called the Little House Boutique, a car accident put an end to that dream pretty quickly. Her next two tries in Palmyra and Ontario didn’t make enough money to survive. 

Undeterred, Christina is trying again, with the same do-or-die spirit that got her through a stint with the Marines. 

“The only reason I made it through (the Marines),” she said, “was because someone told me I couldn’t, and I said ‘watch me.’ It’s the same thing with this.” 

Of course Christina would love to see this most recent attempt be successful, but to her, it isn’t just about financial success. 

“It’s not about the money,” she said. “This is a passion I have. The connections I’ve made through all the attempts have been amazing. I’ve met some great people. I’ve inspired some women along the way, I’ve met other businesswomen and we all encourage each other. It’s more about that than anything else.” 

This time around, Christina has reimagined her shop, changing the name to reflect her new focus on crafts. She’ll be hosting craft classes at least twice a month, and every Thursday night will be hanging around the shop for anyone who wants to just stop in and make-and-take a craft. (Her next jewelry craft class, by the way, is this Thursday Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.)

She also wants to offer craft therapy for veterans. 

“I’ve been in different kinds of therapy throughout the years….I know the need to just be with others who have experienced the same things that you have and feel comfortable about talking about it. We want to kind of keep it low-key, let’s just be comrades and have some fun.” 

On top of all of that, Christina is raising money through her sales to benefit Blessed Hope Community Church, and (soon) Pets for Vets. 

It sounds like Crafty Christy’s Boutique is going to be a valued member of our Webster Village community.  

Crafty Christy’s Boutique, in the lower parking lot at 7 West Main St., is open Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 7:30, Friday 3 to 5, and Saturday 11 to 5. Christina is still getting her Facebook page and website up and running, but you can see a few things at Christina will also be participating in this weekend’s Trick or Treat Trail, so that would be a great time to pop in and check out the place. Call (585) 236-1131 for more information to to register for a class.

Here are some photos in the meantime:

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Third Family Games Night a success despite the cold

25 Oct

It wasn’t 65 degrees and sunny like the first Family Games Night back in July. And certainly not in the high 70s like the second one in September. But chilly autumn breezes and overcast skies didn’t deter hundreds of adults and children who braved the cold last Saturday evening to enjoy German music, German food and giant games set up on West Main Street. 

Saturday’s event was the last of three Family Games Night/Beer Gardens sponsored by the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) this summer and fall. This most recent block party featured an Oktoberfest theme, complete with three full hours of rousing entertainment from premier Oktoberfest band The Krazy Firemen, and plenty of bratwurst and knackwurst on the grills.

And beer, of course. 

The event almost didn’t happen. It had originally been scheduled for Saturday Oct. 16, but was rained out. The darkening skies didn’t look a whole lot more promising this time around, but aside from a few sprinkles early on, the weather held. 

Still, promptly at 5 p.m., when the Krazy Firemen sounded their siren and launched into their first traditional Oompah tune, they played to a completely empty street. Organizers began to fear that people didn’t realize the event had been rescheduled.  

But they needn’t have worried. By 5:30, West Main St. had begun to fill up with festival-goers. Children of all ages were playing with the games and chalking in the street. Denise Baller from Dancing With Denise had a whole knot of kids up and dancing to the band. Many older folks were just content to get a brat, sit at a table and enjoy the authentic German music. By the end of the evening, several hundred people had come into town to enjoy the Oktoberfest with family and friends. 

The chilly weather might have kept some people home, of course. But Clayton LaClair, who was there with his young family, spoke for many when he said, ”I don’t care about the cold. It’s German food and beer!” 

“And a kids’ night,” added his wife Mindy. 

BID chair Elena Bernardi said, “I’m excited to bring all this stuff to Main Street for families to come out and just have fun.” She added that given the success of the Game Nights, the BID will definitely plan to do them again next year — but maybe schedule the last one a little earlier in the season. 

Check out some more photoss here:

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White Christmas will return this year

24 Oct

This is news that I just couldn’t wait to share: White Christmas in the Village will be back this year!

As I was chatting with BID Chair Elena Bernardi at Saturday’s Family Games Night, she told me that not only will this very popular event return on Saturday Dec. 4, she also told me about a terrific addition to this year’s schedule.

Instead of having children visit Santa at Village Hall as in years past, this year Santa will be down at the gazebo, and Gazebo Park will be transformed into Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. There might even be workshop activities for the kids, but final plans are still being worked out. Isn’t that a cool idea?

All of our White Christmas favorites will also be back, including the carriage rides, caroling, and of course the Electric Parade.

More details to come of course, but spread the word!

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Second annual Pumpkins on Parade a spooky fun time

24 Oct

The Webster Recreation Center hosted its second annual Pumpkins on Parade Saturday the 23rd, and it was even bigger and better than last year.

For more than an hour and a half after dark, thousands of people strolled along the mile-long Chiyoda Trail winding behind the Rec Center, which was lined with hundreds of extremely creative, illuminated jack-o-lanterns. The designs ran the gamut from traditional and whimsical to spooky and just plain weird. I saw Olaf and Ernie, the Lego man, spiders, ghosts, unicorns, and lots of toothy grins. For added enjoyment, two of the homeowners whose houses back up to the Rec Center property were playing spooky music for the families that strolled by.

This year the Rec Center also created a separate, much shorter path for seniors and small children, which wrapped around the back of the Rec Center for about 200 yards.

Recreation Director Chris Bilow estimated that about 500 pumpkins had been placed along the two paths, about 100 more than last year. They included 200 or so created by community members, which is also more than they received last year.

That was a pleasant surprise, Bilow added, because by Saturday morning they still hadn’t received too many. “I was a little concerned,” he said. “But then today they started (dropping off) around 11:30 and it was a solid line of cars.”

Like last year, at the end of the pumpkin parade everyone was treated to donuts and cider, served in the Rec Center’s expansive playing fields.

Pumpkins on Parade 2020 was designed as a Covid-friendly outdoor event for families itching for SOMETHING to get them out of the house at the height of the pandemic. After this year’s success, it’s clear the event has already become tremendously popular, pandemic or not, and I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping that the Webster Recreation Center brings it back every year.

Click here to see many more photos from the evening, including many especially cool jack-o-lanterns.

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Another sign, another mystery

23 Oct

I had another mini-mystery on my hands a few days ago. But unlike the mystery I tackled back in September — the origin of the James Carnevale Bike Trail signs — this quest was joined and solved within just a few hours.

It concerns an historical marker placed in front of a stately home at 757 Holt Rd. which recognizes the home as the birthplace of Dr. Luther Emmett Holt, a prominent doctor and author.

Last Sunday I got an email from B. Benson about that sign, who wrote,

During the weeks of summer, every time I passed the Dr. Holt house on Holt Rd., I thought about repainting the faded words and colors of the historical marker located on the property. It is an important piece of the medical history and of Webster. Dr Holt was an important player in the discovery of milk-related illnesses and other diseases in children.

Driving past again this week, I saw an older man in gray trousers, white shirt, paintbrush in hand doing what needed to be done: repainting the sign, dark blue background, and yellow lettering. It looked awesome when it was finished. I would like to thank him for preserving and educating others on Dr. Holt since it now can be clearly read.

I suspected my contacts at the Webster Museum might know something about it, so I forwarded the email to Kathy Taddeo, a museum volunteer and someone on whom I’ve come to rely for all things Museum. She, in turn, beat the bushes by forwarding the email to all of her Museum contacts, volunteer and otherwise.

Just three hours later, Kathy got an email from Town Councilman Barry Deane, who wrote:

I have been dealing with this effort for months. A gentleman inquired as to if he could rehab this sign. It was weeks of communications with Monroe County, some research, and acquiring a permit to do the work. We stayed diligent and finally were able to get the permit and the coloring.

After a few more emails, I tracked down that gentleman, and we met for a very nice conversation at — appropriately — the Webster Museum.

He is Webster resident Charlie Fallon, who explained how the project came to pass.

I’m staying with a friend (nearby). We do a lot of walking. When we walk in that direction I would think, “this sign is in tremendous disrepair compared to the other county signs.” So I did some research on Emmett Holt and he seemed like a pretty interesting guy.

His next step was to get in touch with the town, and Councilman Deane became his contact on the project. Deane consulted with Webster Town Historian Lynn Barton to nail down what the exact colors should be, and secured the proper permissions from the county. Then, once he gave the green light, Charlie said, “I could just go ahead and do the work.”

For about three weeks, Charlie worked a little bit almost every day on the project. Most of that time was spent on prep work, he said. The sign needed a lot of sanding to get rid of years of rust and grime. As he worked, several people stopped to admire his progress and thank him for his efforts.

When you talk to Charlie, though, you get the sense that to him, it was no big deal. It was just something that needed to be done, like his work with Foodlink and other worthy causes.

“I’m not the most ‘volunteerist’ guy,” he claimed, “but I like to do stuff. I like to be useful.”

“It was just a pleasant project to do.”

The Democrat and Chronicle published an article about Dr. Holt several years ago. If you’d like to read more about him and the difference he made in saving childen’s lives, click here.

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Webster Village business news: two new shops

22 Oct

I’m excited to tell everyone a little bit about two brand new Village shops, one which recently opened and one which will be having its grand opening very soon.

First, the one that’s not open — quite yet. It’s called Whimsies, which is going into the the former Chandeliers Boutique at 32 East Main St. It’s right next door to Lala of Webster, which is not coincidental, because Whimsies is going to sort of be an extension of Lala’s. Or as owner Lisa Schlonski describes it, a gift shop operating under the Lala umbrella.

There’s not much to tell you about the shop yet; the 2,700-foot space is still being renovated, as you might have noticed if you’ve driven down Main Street recently. But Lisa did tell me the shop will be stocked with many of the more whimsical and “snarky” items that you can find right now at Lala’s, but — and this is going to be awesome — there’s also going to be a wide selection of vintage and “penny” candy.

Lisa hopes to have the shop up and running before Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for more details about that.

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Next, here’s just a sneak peek at a new boutique which recently opened at 7 West Main in the village.

It’s called Crafty Christy’s Boutique. I’m going to be chatting with the owner later today to get more information, but for now, on her website she describes her little shop as,

a veteran-owned business that reached out for folks looking for a pleasant place to shop, create and make new friends. (A) boutique for the flower child at heart. Beautiful jewelry, artfully decorated items, craft therapy, guest artist, and more.

I’ll be posting a more complete blog soon, but in the meantime, you can check out her website here, or even stop by and say hi. You’ll find her off the lower parking lot behind the W. Main Street shops, near the gazebo. She’s open Monday-Thursdday 3:30 to 7:30, Friday 3 to 5 and Saturday 11 to 5.

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Breaking news!

21 Oct

The Village of Webster is going to try again to hold their third Family Game Night.

It was originally scheduled for last Saturday evening, but got rained and winded out. So, weather permitting, they’re having another go at it THIS Saturday night.

Saturday’s Family Game Night will have an Oktoberfest theme, featuring The Krazy Firemen Oktoberfest band. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on West Main, with the live music all evening, street games, a dance party with Dancing With Denise, crafts, food and games, and more. It should be a great night to get together with family and friends. There’ll be something for everyone.

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