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Own a business? Join Webster’s Holiday Parade of Lights!

18 Nov

Have you heard about this year’s reimagined Parade of Lights, happening Saturday Dec. 5?

This very popular event, always the highlight of the Village of Webster’s White Christmas, was cancelled because of COVID restrictions. But it’s back — albeit a little different.  

Normally, fire trucks, community and business floats, and marching bands, all covered in twinkling holiday lights, parade down Main St. past thousands of spectators. This year, the trucks and floats will be stationary, and spectators will drive past them, enjoying the lights and music from the safety and warmth of their own cars.  

More than 1,500 cars have already registered to drive through and enjoy the display. Now it’s time for more businesses and community agencies to jump on board. 

As an exhibitor, you’ll be assigned a spot where you can park your vehicle for the entire parade, where upwards of 2,000 cars will drive past to see your holiday lights display and business information. (At an average of four people per car, that’s 8,000 people.) Plus, every participating business can provide marketing material for a VIP goodie bag which will be safely handed out to spectator vehicles as they enter the parade route. 

This is an outstanding opportunity to reach out to thousands of new and existing customers, and remind everyone that you’re still in business. So get registered, grab some holiday lights, and plan to have some fun! 

The Village of Webster Holiday Parade of Lights is scheduled for Saturday Dec. 5 from 3 to 8 p.m. on San Jose Dr. rain or shine. Participation is free, but you’ll need to register so organizers know how many vehicles to expect. For more information and to register, email 2020websterparadeoflights@neqals.orgRegistration is required by Nov. 25. 

You can also find more information about the event at the 2020 Webster Parade of Lights Facebook page.

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Webster community mailbag

16 Nov

This year it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. It’s one less disease we have to worry about as the pandemic worsens.

If you haven’t had yours yet, you can get one at the Webster Public Library this Wednesday Nov. 18, from 11 to 12:30 p.m.

There’s no cost, but you’ll probably want to bring your insurance card.

Picture the Holidays with the Webster Museum

Pooh on the pandemic. The Webster Museum is determined to continue its 20-year tradition of celebrating the holidays with our community.

This year they’re inviting everyone to share photos of what makes you happy during the holidays. Their website explains,

What brings you joy? Do you dress up your pets? Make your own ornaments or special treats? Decorate your house or yard? Have family traditions? If it makes you happy, it will make others happy too!

Take a photo, then share it with all of Webster in one of two ways. You can email your photo to photos@webstermuseum.org or upload them (on the website).

They’ll be updating their gallery regularly. I’m going to be adding one of my own, from one of our favorite family traditions. You’ll want to check it out.

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The Parade of Lights is back (with a twist)

6 Nov
This year’s Parade of Lights will look a bit different, but will still be awesome!

The holiday season isn’t going to be a complete bust after all.

Our local first responders have come up with a way to still enjoy Webster’s annual Parade of Lights, the sparkling climax to the Village’s annual White Christmas celebration. Even though White Christmas has been cancelled, the parade will still go on … sort of.

Instead of all the trucks and floats driving past spectators along Main Street, this year spectators will be able to stay in the warmth of their cars and drive past the trucks and floats.

Here’s how it’s going to look:

On Saturday Dec. 5, first responders (fire deparments, EMS agencies, police departments), businesses and community groups will bedeck their vehicles in lights and decorations and line up in one of the very large Xerox parking lots off of San Jose Drive.

Then, from 4 p.m. through 8 p.m., families will be invited to drive through the lot and check out the light display. A pre-event viewing time from 3 to 4 p.m. will be reserved for those with special needs and the elderly.

Spectators will be directed to approach the event via Salt Rd, turning west on to San Jose Drive. Visitors will be asked to sign up online for one of the eight 30 minute time slots to manage traffic flow. Visitors can register on the EventBrite website, searching 2020 Webster Holiday Parade of Lights or by clicking this link.

Businesses and community agencies who are interested in participating should email 2020websterparadeoflights@neqals.org to get a link for on-line registration.

Details are still coming together, but organizers have started up a Facebook page where they’ll be keeping everyone up to date, so make sure to “like” the page. But in the meantime, mark yor calendar today for Dec. 5, and sign up for a time slot!

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Virtual costume contest winners announced

3 Nov

Congratulations to the winners of the first ever (and hopefully only) Village of Webster Virtual Costume Contest!

The village normally holds its costume contest at the beginning of the Trick or Treat in the Village event. Of course that didn’t happen this year, so instead, families were encouraged to get all dressed up and email photos to the judges at Village Hall.

Fifteen families accepted the challenge. The winners were:

  • 1st Place: Mint Chip Ice Cream
  • 2nd Place: Baby Horse Jockey
  • 3rd Place: Headless Horseman
  • 4th Place: Shark Family

Here’s a slideshow of all the other costumes as well:

The contest was sponsored by Monroe County Legislator Matthew Terp, who is providing gift cards to not just the four top winners, but to family that participated.

Hopefully next year, Trick-or-Treating in the Village will be back, along with the costume contest. But in the meantime, thank you to everyone who helped pull this together and who joined the fun.

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Parade of Pumpkins a spooky hit

25 Oct

If last night’s attendance at the Webster Recreation Center’s first-ever Parade of Pumpkins was any indication, people are starved for family entertainment.

An estimated 1,500 or so adults, teens and children walked the mile-long Chiyoda Trail last night, so many people that cars filled the Rec Center’s parking lot, and quickly overflowed into the lot across the street.

As they strolled along the path, visitors were greeted by about 450 uniquely carved, glowing jack-o-lanterns lining both sides of the path. The designs ran the gamut from traditional and whimsical to spooky and just plain weird. I saw a unicorn, cats, witches, a moose, flowers, and lots of toothy grins.

At the end of the parade, everyone was treated to donuts and cider, served in the Rec Center’s expansive playing fields, with plenty of space for social distancing.

Parks Commissioner Chris Bilow and Recreation Supervisor Katie Kovar spent much of the evening welcoming families at the parade entrance. They were delighted not only by the turnout, but also by how many people thanked them for pulling the event together.

The enthusiastic response was a pleasant surprise. “We expected maybe 100 pumpkins from the community,” Kovar said. Even still, it only took a few hours for the staff members to place them along the path, adding some extra surprises like a pumpkin-light banner and twinkly lights along the path’s two bridges.

It was a beautiful night for a stroll, and a great opportunity for people to discover one of Webster’s best walking paths.

Bilow and Kovar are already thinking about next year, when COVID restrictions will not limit them to an all-outdoor event. They’re thinking maybe creating two paths, one just for toddlers and small children. Perhaps having music, games and crafts. Basically, making it a big fall festival, both inside the Rec Center and out.

“People want to do things like this at the holidays, and who better than (the Webster Rec)?” Bilow said.

Here are some more photos from the evening:

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Webster community mailbag

21 Oct

There’s lots going on this autumn in and around the town. I’m going to start today’s mailbag with a few reminders about some fun events you will NOT want to miss.

This Saturday, Oct. 24, the Webster Health and Education Network is sponsoring a Fall Drug Drop-off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd. This is an excellent opportunity to safely dispose of any unused or expired medications which are clogging up your medicine cabinet.

Registration is not required for this event, but if you sign up on their website, they can send you a reminder the day before the event.

And remember, there’s a pharmaceutical drop-box at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Rd., in the police station’s foyer, where you can drop off your unused pharmaceuticals any weekday during regular business hours.   


Also this Saturday, the Webster Recreation Center will host its first ever Pumpkins on Parade.

From 6:30 to 8 p.m. this Saturday Oct. 24, you can stroll along the Chiyoda Trail behind the Rec Center and view a parade of brightly glowing jack-o-lanterns. Afterwards, visitors will be treated to free cider and donuts.

But don’t just come and see the jack-o-lanterns. Create one yourself!

Children, adults, businesses, organizations, pretty much anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to carve a pumpkin and drop it off at the Rec Center on Friday Oct. 23 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. OR Saturday Oct. 24 between noon and 2. The Rec staff will be sure to get your creation out on the path for everyone to enjoy.

Multiple carved pumpkins are allowed and encouraged. For each carved pumpkin, participants will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a great prize.

Businesses who choose to participate can leave a business card with their pumpkin and the Rec Center will make up a little sign to accompany it on the path with your name and logo.

Everything will be ready for viewing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is a free event and will run rain or shine, so put it on your calendar, and get carving! The Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive, off of Phillips Rd.


And don’t forget about the Village of Webster’s costume contest. It’s going virtual this year, but there are still some great prizes to be awarded.

Here’s how it works:

  • Email a photo of yourself in your costume to VOWcostumecontest@gmail.com no later than October 29 at midnight. Group costumes will also be accepted.
  • Judges will take a look at all the entries and award prizes. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31 (Halloween) by noon on the Village of Webster Facebook page (so make sure to “like” the page!) Winners will also be contacted via email and/or by phone, as long as you’ve included that information with your submission.
  • Winners will receive gift cards to a Village of Webster business of their choice.

All (appropriate) submissions will be featured on the Village’s Facebook page, so smile big! I’ll also post the winning photos here on my blog.

So go “like” the Village of Webster Facebook page, check back frequently for updates, and get working on those costumes!


Here’s another fun, albeit virtual, event for the whole family.

It’s a Halloween Magic Show, presented by the Webster Recreation Department.

It takes place online on Friday Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. Cost is $10 per family and pre-registration is required. Check the poster for more information, then visit the Rec Center website to register.


Looking forward to November…

Thanks to COVID-19, the Village of Webster can’t have its usual sit-down Veterans Day luncheon. Instead, they’ll be providing take-out meals for any interested veterans or service men and women on Wednesday Nov. 11.

The village is still working out the details, but so far we know that the meals will be paid for by the Village of Webster and made by Brimont Bistro.

The “luncheon” will be handed out at Village Hall, and a ceremony will still take place at Veterans Park, where everyone will be asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines unless you’re with family. Mayor Byerts will speak.

More details to come about this. But for now, if you’re a veteran or know of one, mark your calendar and spread the word.


The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf is also looking forward to November, specifically their holiday dinner distributions.

Thanks to COVID, the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families needing help with accessing food this year. There’s been a more than 30% increase since March, and the food shelf is now serving between 138-150 families weekly.

Very soon, frozen turkeys will start going on sale at local grocery stores. If you’re able to grab an extra and donate it to the food shelf, it would go a long way to help feed our neighbors in need. Smaller sized turkeys are fine, 8-12 lbs. if possible.


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Trick-or-Treat Trail a no-go, but the costume contest is on!

14 Oct

It was sad news when we heard that the Village of Webster’s very popular Trick-or-Treat Trail was canceled this year. But perhaps this will help soften the blow: The costume contest will still go on!

It was actually County Legislator Matthew Terp who approached the village and suggested they try to hold the contest, one way or another.

“I helped judge it last year, and I was amazed by how much people put into their costumes and how excited people were for the event,” he said. He thought that bringing the contest back would be fun when everyone could really use some fun right about now.

The costume contest will, of course, look different this year (just like everything else). This year’s Village of Webster Costume Contest will be completely virtual, which means you can participate from the comfort of your own home.

Here’s how it works:

Email a photo of yourself in your costume to VOWcostumecontest@gmail.com no later than October 29 at midnight. Group costumes will also be accepted.

Judges will take a look at all the entries and award prizes. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31 (Halloween) by noon on the Village of Webster Facebook page (so make sure to “like” the page!) Winners will also be contacted via email and/or by phone, as long as you’ve included that information with your submission.

Winners will receive gift cards to a Village of Webster business of their choice.

All (appropriate) submissions will be featured on the Village’s Facebook page, so smile big! I’ll also post the winning photos here on my blog.

So go “like” the Village of Webster Facebook page, check back frequently for updates, and get working on those costumes!

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Got unused and expired drugs?

13 Oct

It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of all of those expired and unused pharmaceuticals that have been hanging around for years.

You especially want to do this if you still have children at home; the statistics about children abusing prescription drugs and overdosing are frightening, and much of that is happening because they can often easily find these drugs in their own bathrooms.

Here are some facts:

  • More than 160 children go to the ER every day from accidental overdose
  • Most people who abuse prescription opioids get them for free from a friend or relative
  • Kids as young as 12 are trying prescription drugs to get high
  • OTC cold, allergy and cough meds can cause serious harm in large doses

WHEN, the Webster Health and Education Network, is sponsoring an event next week to make it easy for you to clean out your cabinets.

It’s the Fall Drug Drop-off, on Saturday Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd.

Registration is not required for this event, but if you sign up on their website, they can send you a reminder the day before the event.

And remember, there’s a pharmaceutical drop-box at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Rd., just inside the doors to the police station, where you can drop off your unused pharmaceuticals any weekday during regular business hours.   

Items accepted at the drop box include any unused, unwanted or expired medication such as prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medication, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples and medications for pets. Items that are NOT accepted include hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions or liquids, thermometers, needles (sharps) and medication from businesses or clinics.

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Produce and flowers and crafts, oh my!

23 Sep

Don’t let the slow creep of autumn scare you away; Webster’s Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market is still up and running every Saturday in the Towne Center Plaza, at the corner of Ridge and Holt (near Old Navy and the gazebo).

The market offers locally-grown fresh produce (including this season’s apples), baked goods, jams & jellies, honey, maple syrup, fresh meats, plants, spices and crafts. When I was there last weekend I grabbed some tomatoes and even started my Christmas shopping.

The market runs through the first week in November, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. For more information, check out their Facebook page. And scroll through the slideshow at the top of this blog to see more photos!

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Village block party brought music to the streets

14 Sep
The Red Hot and Blue Band performed a porch concert for about 100 village residents Saturday afternoon.

I have come to realize that one of the main things I miss most during this pandemic is the opportunity to see live music.

Fortunately, those opportunities have begun to present themselves again in the last several weeks. For example, the Village of Webster held three Friday night concerts at the gazebo, and Barry’s Old School Irish is back to hosting its regular traditional Irish music sessions every Saturday night.

I consider yesterday’s live music event a bonus, however. It was a village block party held on Park Ave., just around the corner from my house (OK, two corners).

A portion of Park Ave. was blocked off for the party.

I’m not sure who organized the event, but I’m sure my Park Ave. neighbor Doug Pucci had something to do with it. It was on his porch that his rockin’ Red Hot and Blue Band performed for almost three hours to an appreciative audience of almost 100 adults and children.

The organizers distributed flyers all over the surrounding neighborhoods, but everyone in the village was invited, regardless of whether they got one of the “invitations” before they ran out.

The sun was shining, the children were dancing and making chalk drawings in the middle of Park Ave., and neighbors were meeting neighbors. It was a quintessential village experience.

Thank you to everyone who helped pull this together. It was exactly the thing all us music-starved and socially-deprived people needed.

At one point, almost 100 adults and children were watching the concert, dancing, or playing in the street.

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