Archive | January, 2023

It’s a one-act play. What could go wrong?

31 Jan

The Webster Theatre Guild will explore the answer to that question when they present “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong,” a dinner theater fundraiser scheduled for Friday and Saturday Feb. 10 and 11.

The comedy, written by Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayers and Henry Lewis, follows a fictitious amateur British theatre troupe through the opening night of a murder mystery production where everything that can go wrong does. Nonetheless, the show must go on, despite the hilarious consequences.

The “dinner and a show” will be held on Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd. Both evenings will begin with a sit-down pasta dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by the show. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased in advance by clicking here.

If you own or work at a local business, how about having a night out for the staff and sponsor an entire table? Your $200 donation will include six tickets and table recognition. Interested businesses should call (585) 678-1158 to make reservations.

Proceeds from the dinner theatre fundraiser will go towards funding scholarships for graduating high school seniors and for supporting the staging of upcoming musical theater productions.

The Webster Theatre Guild could really use our support on this. Thanks to several scheduling conflicts, they weren’t able to produce their regular musical last October, so they’re hoping to recoup some of that lost revenue with this show.

I think I’m going to make it a date night with my husband. How about joining me?

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(posted 1/31/2023)

Fall in love with Webster, starting Wednesday!

30 Jan

The Village of Webster’s second annual Fall in Love With Webster month-long community celebration begins Wednesday, Feb. 1, featuring four weeks of merchant discounts and special events, all embracing the theme of love.

Almost three dozen business owners are participating, offering discounts or hosting special events all month, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Village Hall has even gotten into the act, lighting up the gazebo at North Ave. and 104 with red twinkly lights.

The idea is to promote a fun way to unify village residents and business owners. But it’s also all about helping community members get to know our village a little better, find out more about our many fine businesses, and encourage everyone to get more involved in all of the activities found here.

Here’s what’s coming up this week. Check back this weekend to see what’s scheduled for week 2, and get ready to Fall in Love With Webster!

All month: Random Acts of Kindness at the Village Hall

Kick off your Fall in Love With Webster experience this week by stopping by the Village Hall, 28 West Main, to reach into their “Random Acts of Kindness” jar and select a slip of paper suggesting a random act of kindness you can do this week. And while you’re there, check out information about the wide variety of services the Village Hall offers.

Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m.: SEWcial Day at the Village Quilt Shoppe

SEWcial Day is the perfect day to come hang out with your friends. Bring your sewing projects and use this time to get caught up without home distractions. Snacks will be available. Sign up is required due to limited space. Vanetta and Monique will be available for help and encouragement. 

Cost is $5. Call the Village Quilt Shoppe at 585-626-6916 to sign up.

Feb. 4, 9 p.m.: Knight Patrol at The Coach Sports Bar

Knight Patrol is rocking The Coach Sports Bar on Saturday, February 4 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Performing all of your favorite 80’s high energy rock hits including Journey, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Bryan Adams, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and many more. Visit The Coach website or call 585-872-2910 for more information.

 Also, all month you’ll find specials at Orville’s Home AppliancesPerformance HobbiesBrimont Bistro, Furnari Jewelers, Wellness 360, ROC Dance, and heart-shaped red velvet pancakes at Golden Boys.

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More details about all these events and what’s coming up the rest of the month at the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page. Make sure to “like” the page to get regular updates, because new events are being added every day. 

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(posted 1/31/2023)

News from the Greater Rochester Peep Show

29 Jan

Good news for those of you who love those marshmallow Peeps candies. The 2023 Greater Rochester Marshmallow Peep Show is right around the corner.

If you’ve never heard about this really fun event, you’re going to want to keep reading, especially if you like eating those yellow (and now pink and purple and whatever other colors) marshmallow chicks and ducks. I’ve never been a big fan. I put them in the same category as those faux-orange circus peanuts. They squeak when you bite into them.

But I LOVE the Peep Show. This is a two-day event at the Webster Recreation Center, where at least four entire rooms are filled with incredibly creative sculptures, dioramas, and various other works of art created with Peeps. It’s simply the cutest thing ever.  Plus, there are craft vendors, a kids’ activity room, pizza and a snack bar.

This year’s show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday March 25 and 26 at the Webster Recreation Center. More details will come (but it’s free and great family fun). But for now, Peep Show organizers are looking for Peep creators.

Businesses, organizations or individuals are encouraged to enter a display for judging. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the show for the display that gets the most visitor votes.

Not feeling very artistic? You can support the event in other ways as well. You can hang a poster, donate a prize or become a partner in underwriting the show. Several levels of sponsorship are available, and all proceeds will benefit the Webster Community Chest.

I’ve posted some photos from last year’s show below. You can see more photos, check out last year’s winners, find out more about the show and how you can help by visiting the Rochester Peep Show website here, or email

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(posted 1/29/2023)

Jerry Christopher recognized as Webster Chamber of Commerce 2023 Business Person of the Year

28 Jan

Congratulations to Jerry Christopher from State Farm Insurance for receiving this year’s Webster Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award.

The presentation was made at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting and was presented by Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce and Carolyn Montanaro, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

The Businessperson of the Year is recognized as having set a standard of accomplishment in both business and the community. Nominations are from the Chamber’s business members who have made a significant impact on the role of business in the community. The nominee must be a member of the Chamber for at least 18 months. They must be an active member who is always willing to go above and beyond and be a leader that motivates others. They must have a level of community participation by contributing resources in the form of time, talent or money to our community via projects, clubs, churches and not-for-profits.

Jerry is an active member of the Webster Chamber of Commerce and the Webster community. He is a father, husband, business owner, volunteer and philanthropist. He sings often at church, local sporting events and Veterans Day ceremonies, and he led the National Anthem at the Chamber breakfast where he was honored. He is a regular attendee at Chamber events, a familiar face at breakfast meetings and sings his way through a multitude of community activities as a participant or supporter. 

Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber said, “Jerry always volunteers and never says no when asked. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and help with the heavy lifting. He has been a Webster Chamber member for 35 years, singing for us and the community for decades.” 

Jerry operates a State Farm Insurance agency located on Empire Blvd and has been helping Webster residents with their insurance needs since 1984.

Jerry’s singing gigs, in addition to church and the Chamber breakfast, include the Veteran’s Day ceremonies, Webster parades (including singing and marching with the Chamber in the 2022 Webster Parade of Lights), singing and bell ringing with a Salvation Army kettle, Webster Theatre Guild performances or a local ball game. If he isn’t singing, he’s supporting local theatre groups and Webster High School musicals.

Jerry is a member of the Penfield Rotary, where his service includes serving chicken barbecue to raise money for scholarships, bringing food to veterans at Nucor House and sharing the meal, judging singing contests for Rotary scholarships at Penfield High School, and working on the bike drive for R Community Bikes in the city of Rochester. Jerry also sponsors Wedge Wattle, raising money for St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, supports Boy Scout troops with their activities and award ceremonies, and is a regular blood donor.   

The Chamber presented Jerry with a plaque which read, “Businessperson of the Year presented by the Webster Chamber of Commerce to Jerry Christopher in recognition of your outstanding contributions to the Webster Chamber of Commerce and your commitment to the community – 2023.” The Chamber will also be making a contribution to a charitable organization selected by Jerry.

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(posted 1/28/2023)

Webster community mailbag

27 Jan

I’d like to start off today’s mailbag with news of a neat little fundraiser sponsored by Webster Comfort Care. They’re calling it their “Souper Bowl,” and it’s a great way to supplement your Super Bowl party in a few weeks, while supporting an incredibly worthy organization.

For just $15, you can place an order for a quart of delicious soup, prepared by one of a half dozen local restaurants. Your choices are:

  • Jambalaya, provided by the Filling Station
  • White Chicken Chili, provided by the Chicken Coop
  • Chicken, Cheddar, Broccoli Jalapeno, provided by Temple Bar and Grill
  • Italian Wedding Soup, provided by Mama Lor’s
  • Tomato Bisque, provided by La Bella Vita
  • Clam Chowder, provided by Pub 235

For another $5, you can even add four breadsticks to your order.

Orders need to be made online by Feb. 5, and pick-up will be on Saturday Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at Webster Presbyterian Church, 550 Webster Rd. Click here for more information and to order.

Most of the following announcements I grabbed from the Town of Webster weekly newsletter.

  • Our Town of Webster Highway Department is creating some additional parking at the Whiting Rd. Nature Preserve. The project should be completed by spring and will go a long way to relieve some of the crowding up there, which has required some hikers to park on busy Whiting Rd.
  • The Webster Recreation Center has a way to keep your kids busy during February Break. Their February Break Fun Camp will run from Tuesday through Friday Feb. 21-24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and feature games, crafts, games in the gym and more. Cost is $185. To sign up, visit the Webster Parks and Recreation website and register for program #121006-A.
  • The Webster Association of Senior Program Supporters (WASPS) will be holding a Volunteer Training Class for anyone interested in helping provide transportation for residents to their medical appointments, salons, barbers and banks. The commitment is only about two hours a week. The first class will be held on Wednesday Feb. 1 at LifeSpan of Rochester. To learn more, visit the WASPS website.

A couple of fun Webster Public Library programs coming up:

  • The National Puzzle Day Puzzle Exchange takes place on Monday, Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is a great time to trade in some of your gently-used puzzles for something new to you. Bring as many as you want.
  • The annual Preschool Drive-in is happening this year on Tuesday Jan. 31 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The morning will begin with decorating the kids’ box cars, followed by a drive over to the community room to watch a short movie. You can even bring the car home. The program is open to children ages 2 to 5. Registration is required, and boxes (I mean, cars) are limited.
  • Also happening at the library on Tuesday Jan. 31, a showing of Top Gun: Maverick, playing on the big screen in the community room beginning at 1 p.m. Running time is about 130 minutes. All ages are welcome and no registration is required.

The Webster Public Library is lpocated at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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(posted 1/27/2023)

Planning has begun for 2023 Webster village events

26 Jan

Despite the fact that we really haven’t had much in the way of winter, we’re definitely not anywhere near spring yet. But planning has already begun for a very busy spring and summer in the Village of Webster.

At their most recent meeting, members of the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) started sketching out the long list of special events our local merchants are planning this year. The BID is the organization, remember, that sponsors the very popular Trick or Treat TrailWinter WonderlandFriday Night Gazebo Concerts, Wine Walks and others. Those events are definitely returning this year, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Just about every month this summer, beginning in April, the BID has scheduled at least one entertaining, family-friendly event, and sometimes two or three or more.

Things kick off around Easter with the return of the very popular Easter Egg Hunt. More than 500 kids and their parents participated in last year’s first-ever event, which was successful in part because of the incredible support from local businesses. (Click here to read the blog I wrote about it.)

Later in the spring and summer, these events will also be returning (although dates have still not been finalized):

  • Friday night concerts at the gazebo
  • Two Wine Walks
  • Webster Jazz Fest
  • Two Family Games Nights
  • Beer Walk
  • Bourbon Bash
  • Trick or Treat Trail
  • Webster’s Winter Wonderland

There was even some talk about perhaps adding a scarecrow contest to the mix. And who knows what other events the BID might pull out of their sleeves in the coming week.

And make sure not to forget about the month-long Fall in Love With Webster event, which will kick off on Feb. 1. I’ll be providing lots more details about this soon, so stay tuned.

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(posted 1/24/2023)

The Webster Museum asks: What IS that thing?

24 Jan

One of the things I really love about our Webster Museum is how hard the volunteers work to keep their exhibits interesting and topical. They’re always changing things out for the season, or simply to highlight something new and different, always with the express purpose to educate and inform.

The Museum’s current exhibit is a good example.

They’ve very appropriately called the exhibit “What is it?” and what they’ve done is pulled together many of the especially unusual … things … they’ve discovered in the museum’s nooks and crannies and grandma’s-house-like attic spaces.

Most of the strange items have been identified, like a bread crumber, a niddy noddy, a glove stretcher and a lard press. But several still remain a mystery, and they’d love to have help identifying them.

So if that challenge has whet your interest, check out these photos of several of the items. See if you can figure out what they are, and then make sure to stop by the Webster Museum to see more of these odd — but once regularly used — items.

And while you’re there, check out the new musical instrument exhibit, especially if you’ve never seen a ukelin or a melodica.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. It’s open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

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(posted 1/24/2023)

Middle schools announce theatrical performances

23 Jan

You know that spring can’t be far behind when Webster’s middle schools announce their late-winter performances, which are always the first on the schedule every year.

Willink Middle School kicks everything off in just a few weeks when they present Disney’s Newsies, Jr. in three shows on Feb. 3 and 4.

Featuring a cast and crew of 100 sixth, seventh and eighth graders, the show is based on the real-life newsboy strike of 1899. It tells the story of Jack Kelly (Nicole Eggleton), a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant, Joseph Pulitzer (Jeremiah Fischer), raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. With help from reporter Katherine Plumber (Evie Aiezza), the newsies learn that they are stronger united and create a movement to fight for what’s right.

The show is packed with high-energy songs which have become well known to theater-goers and non theater-goers alike, including “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe.”

Shows are Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 4 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway, Webster. Tickets go on sale the week of January 30 on the Drama Club website. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Children 3 and younger are free.

Looking ahead to March, the Spry Middle School Drama Club is putting the final touches on their production of Footloose, scheduled for March 10 and 11.

Footloose tells the story of a young man who transfers to a high school in a small Midwestern town where rock music and dancing have been made illegal. As he struggles to fit in, he faces an uphill battle to change things.

The cast is led by 8th graders Rowan Murphy as Ren and Lilah Kastrinos as Ariel, supported by Rory Goodwin as Rev Shaw and Sarah Lowe as Vi. Ani Boller, Savannah Lane, Emily Berry, Grace Clayton, Abby Bielemeier and Evan Burdick round out the strong ensemble cast.

The performance features 80’s classics including “Footloose,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Almost Paradise” and “Let’s Hear it for the Boys.”

Footloose will take the Spry Cafetorium stage on Friday March 10 at 7 p.m., and Saturday March 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. More details to come about tickets.

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(posted 1/23/2023)

A toast to Barry’s, and a peek inside the new Woofs indoor dog park

22 Jan

Anyone who knows Barry’s Old School Irish knows how much Danny Barry likes to make toasts to just about anything, often handing out mini shots of whiskey to everyone in the pub when he does.

Last night was no exception, but the occasion was rather exceptional. Saturday night’s whiskey toast was to our Webster firefighters, and the occasion was to present a $1,000 check to the Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD), a portion of the proceeds from last August’s Barry’s Irish Festival.

As an illustration of the bond between Barry’s Old School Irish and the WVFD, Danny pointed out the Barry’s-emblazoned firefighter jacket hanging just inside the front door. “It’s one of our favorite things in this pub,” he said, “a reminder of the friendship we’ve had for the 12 years we’ve been open.”

WVFD Chief Andrew Vorndran accepted the check and spoke for the many firefighters assembled last night, thanking Danny and Jessica for “being family and for always being there for us.”

Barry’s also donated a portion of their Irish Festival proceeds to the Ancient Order of Hibernians in support of their efforts to build an Irish Center in Rochester.

When I stopped into Woof’s Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park on Thursday, things were still in significant disarray. So I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday, when I went back for the grand opening celebration and saw an amazing transformation and an impressive facility.

There’s a very large, astro-turfed area for large dogs to run around in, which owner Christine Gigante had sprinkled with some agility equipment. Fenced off to the side is a smaller area for smaller dogs, and both areas have benches along the walls for the pups’ parents to sit while their dogs play.

But what I really liked was the nice little cafe area and social area, designed for pet owners to relax while they watch their dogs play, and maybe even get to know others. There’s a small work-out area, some retail, and even dog-friendly baked goods.

A steady stream of dogs and their people were coming and going while I was there, and the opening even got some attention from the local TV stations.

On her Facebook page last night, owner Christine Gigante couldn’t hold back her excitement. She wrote,

“Wow! Just wow. We cannot thank you all enough for such an AMAZING DAY! Thank you to 13 WHAM ABC and WHEC TV for coming to cover our grand opening event and to our phenomenal neighbors and partners for supporting us.”

Woofs Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park is located at 187 West Main St. in Webster, in the old World Gym building. Official business operating hours will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Hours will be posted on the Woofs Facebook page, so check back there often for updates.

Here a look inside:

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(posted 1/22/2023)

Don Pedro Cantina is Webster’s new Mexican sports bar

21 Jan

I absolutely love Mexican food. So I’m probably more excited than most that not one, but two Mexican eateries have recently opened in our area.

I haven’t had the chance yet to stop by Corona’s Mexican Restaurant on Ridge Rd., but a little while ago I did visit the new Don Pedro Cantina and talk to the owner, Mauricio Hernandez.

Don Pedro Cantina opened last November in BayTowne Plaza (which technically is in Penfield, to be accurate), in the former location of WhichCraft Brews. I know for a fact (’cause I heard it from my daughter, for one), a lot of people were saddened when WhichCraft closed. But from what I saw during my visit, those same people will probably like Don Pedro just as much, for a lot of reasons.

This is actually the second Don Pedro in Rochester. The first, now closed, was downtown on East Ave. That Don Pedro, however, was first and foremost a restaurant, whereas this new location is most definitely a sports bar. It’s a smaller, more intimate space than the 10,000-foot East Ave. restaurant, making it more amenable for friends to gather for a few beers and some wings and to watch the game. It boasts 11 large-screen TVs and a huge 40′ by 30′ screen at one end of the room. It’s the largest one I’ve seen pretty much anywhere.

Anyone who liked the food-truck-on-the-serving-floor concept that WhichCraft had will be pleased to know that Mauricio has embraced the idea and will continue to serve his Mexican-inspired menu from the food truck. However, instead of having to walk up to the truck and wait for your meal, a wait staff will take your order and bring the food to your table.

The menu offers a wide variety of Mexican specialties from tacos to burritos, quesadillas to fajitas. And for those who might not be a huge fan of Mexican, there are burgers, wings and nachos.

There are 16 beers on tap, and plenty more canned and bottled selections in the cooler. Plus, for anyone who misses WhichCraft’s craft brews, here’s some exciting news: very soon, Don Pedro will become the first Mexican brewery in Upstate NY and begin rolling out their own craft brews, so stay tuned for more news about that. Trivia fans will also be pleased to know that Mauricio is hoping to start hosting weekly trivia, like WhichCraft did, maybe some karaoke and regular live music.

Mauricio named the business after his father, Don Pedro, and is drawing from his memories of going to a sports bar with his father to personalize the experience.

“My father and I used to go and watch the games. At halftime … the owner would send out a lot of tacos and chips for free. I’m trying to do the same. I’m trying to get to where I can give something back. I think it’s always nice (for fans) when they come and you drop something for free. You feel like they’re taking care of you.” 

That “giving something back” is a big part of Mauricio’s business plan. He’s committed to giving back to the community and helping other small businesses and organizations.

“I try to help as much as I can in the community. My thing is helping out anybody who’s local, who’s maybe not involved in the restaurant world.”

“For example let’s say someone has a local gym. … If they want to buy new machines for the gym, it’s coming out of their pocket because they’re not part of a chain. So we work with them to do a fundraiser … We cut them a nice check so they can invest it in their own business. … I can give back to them and we all can help each other.”

That also goes for sports teams, he added.

“I can be doing some fundraisers for them so they can get some money for whatever they need. … They can spread the word, come in and I’ll do the rest of it. Anybody that wants to make an event so they can make money, my doors are completely open. We work with anybody.” 

“We try to give back a little to society from here.”

Welcome to the Webster/Penfield community, Don Pedro Cantina. Clearly you’re going to be a huge community supporter. (And serve incredible Mexican food, to boot.)

Don Pedro Cantina is located at 1900 Empire Blvd., Webster, in BayTowne Plaza. Click here for their Facebook page and here for their website.

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(posted 1/21/2023)