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Explore a “hidden gem” with the Friends of Webster Trails

15 Aug

Even if if you’ve hiked some of Webster’s fine trail system, you may not know about this one.

It’s the Midnight Trail, which can be found just south of Webster Park. On Sunday August 26, The Friends of Webster Trails would love to introduce it to you at their second of three Hidden Gems hikes, a series designed to introduce nature lovers to some of Webster’s lesser-known trails.

The two-mile hike will begin at 1 p.m. at Whiting Road Nature Preserve, cross Whiting Road and head into Webster Park via the Midnight Trail loop. The trail will have some rolling terrain but is not too steep.

This hike will be held rain or shine, but any changes to the event will be communicated via email, so please sign up by clicking here. Anyone is welcome to attend, but please leave your pets at home this time around.

The map below, pulled from the Friends of Webster Trails website, shows the trail you’ll be hiking. Make sure to check all the trail maps and other great information on that website. Then go over to the membership page and throw these folks some cash to thank them for creating and maintaining Webster’s awesome trails.

midnight trail

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Waterfront Art Festival returns this weekend

26 Jul

art fest

The Waterfront Art Festival returns to North Ponds Park this weekend, July 28 and 29.

This popular festival features artists from all over Monroe County, who line North Ponds’ scenic and shaded walkways, displaying an incredible variety of hand-made craft items in all price ranges.

What’s really nice about this particular festival is that all of the artisans’ work is juried beforehand, which is why it is all so different and so high-quality. I remember picking up several unique Christmas gifts last year.

Plus there are food trucks live entertainment, demonstrations and a wine, beer and cider-tasting tent. There’s plenty of free parking right on the grounds, and an expanded handicapped parking area.

The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday at North Ponds Park, off of Rt. 104 between Rt. 250 and Holt Road (you’ll wan to take the Rt. 250 exit off of Rt. 104).  Admission is $3, no charge for kids 12 and under. For more information, click here for the Waterfront Art Festival website.

 

So many things happening in the village

24 Jul

This time of year is packed with so many village events, it’s hard to keep up with them. But here’s a quick run-down:

Movies

toystoryTONIGHT (weather permitting) is the next family-friendly Movies in the Parkfeaturing the classic favorite (can we call it a classic yet?) Toy Story. Tonight’s movie will begin around 8:45 in Gazebo Park on North Ave. Hegedorn’s will be on hand to provide free popcorn, but feel free to bring your own picnic baskets, and don’t forget chairs and blankets. You can get up-to-the-hour weather updates here.

The upcoming movie schedule includes Early Man on July 31, Cars 3 on August 7, Coco on August 14, and Disney’s Big Friendly Giant on August 21.

Music

The Friday Night Concert Series heats up again this weekend when The Industrial Blues Band takes to the gazebo stage this Friday July 27 beginning at 7 p.m., with their mix of contemporary blues and classic rock.

Upcoming concerts feature Escape Terrain on August 3, the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra on August 10, and Travis Fitch on August 17. PLUS there’s a bonus concert on August 9, when Kittleberger Florist hosts Rochester Brass and Electric to help celebrate their 90th anniversary.

Wine Walk

The last Village Wine Walk of the summer takes place on Saturday August 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.

These are really fun events. For $15 you get a wine glass and a map, and enjoy an evening with friends strolling through the village, sampling wines at lots of local businesses.

New venues have been added for this final summer walk, and after it’s done, hang around and enjoy some fireworks, hosted at Kittelberger Florist to celebrate their 90 years in business.

Wine not your thing? The village’s second Beer Walk is scheduled for September 15, and a Bourbon Bash on November 10. More details to come about those.

village band

More Music

Finally, don’t forget about the Webster Village Band! They host concerts almost every Thursday during the summer at the band shell on Phillips Road.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Feel free to bring a lawn chair and blanket and some snacks and beverages.

The next concerts are scheduled for this Thursday, July 26, then August 2, 16 and 23. In the event of rain, concerts are moved to Cherry Ridge Senior Center, across the street from Webster Schroeder High School on Ridge Road.

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2018 Webster Jazz Fest: Music, dancing, and rain

22 Jul

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Well, we’ve had better weather for the annual Webster Jazz Fest, but we definitely have had much, much worse.

For most of the afternoon and evening on Saturday for Jazz in the Streets, cloudy weather remained just that: cloudy.  But just about when Bill Tiberio was finishing his set and Prime Time Funk was setting up, the thousands of music lovers who packed the streets and sidewalks started feeling some sprinkles. Most were undeterred.

That is, until the rain got a little heavier about an hour later. That’s when people started packing up their quad chairs and umbrellas were raised. And Prime Time Funk played on, his drum-beats heard even beyond Phillips Road (This is actually true. Someone who lives down there told me so.)

By all accounts, the 2018 Webster Jazz Fest was another rip-roaring success, and the rain really didn’t do much to dampen that. My daughter Erin (who, as you know, writes for the Webster Herald) and I were out there taking photos, which I have compiled into a gallery which you can see here.

If you didn’t make it this year, you missed out on something special. Put it on your calendar right now for 2019, because it WILL be back.

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Christmas in July at the market

21 Jul

IMG_8994

So it was, like, 80 degrees outside this morning, and people were out in their tank tops and shorts. Still, it looked like Christmas at Webster’s Joe Obbie Farmers Market, held every Saturday at Webster Towne Center Plaza.

It was the market’s annual Christmas in July celebration. Today, in addition to the market’s normal assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheeses, baked goods and more, shoppers found the sales tents draped with sparkling garland; the farmers and crafters wearing Santa hats and antlers; snowmen (albeit made of wood) and even a big reindeer (also made of wood). And at the far end of it all, Santa sat in his big chair to welcome children, offering them the chance to get their gift requests in early.

The Webster Village Band was scheduled to play some holiday tunes; I wasn’t able to get there early  enough to see them, so if anyone has a photo of that, please send it along!

Here, in the meantime, is a small gallery of photos from the day.

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Webster community mailbag

20 Jul

Well, folks, I’m back in town after a 10-day trip with my daughter through Spain (with a side trip to Lisbon, Portugal thrown in for good measure). I tried my best to auto-post some blogs while I was gone, but finally I’m back at the keyboard to blog live and in person.

And to wade through about two dozen new emails I got in my absence.

First order of business, then, is a mailbag to pass along all that news that people passed along to me while I was in sunny Spain.

First off, don’t forget about the Webster Jazz Fest, which begins tonight (Friday) with Jazz in the Pubs, and continues Saturday night with Jazz in the Streets. This event features an incredible variety of great music, and I consider it one of the best events of the entire summer. Pretty much everyone in Webster comes out.

For more details about the Fest, including who is playing and when, click here.

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santa

Also tomorrow (Saturday) July 21, grab your kids and make your way down to the Joe Obbie Farmers Market for their annual Christmas in July event, featuring (of course) Santa Claus.

The Webster Village Band will be there playing holiday music and the entire market will be decked out in holiday splendor with special treats for the kids.

The Joe Obbie Market runs every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Webster Towne Center Plaza (Kohl’s/Target Plaza) at the corner of Ridge and Holt roads.

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This is most definitely not Webster news, but it’s a great cause and you golfers out there will want to know about it.

The 23rd annual Leatherneck Open will take place on Monday July 23 at Greystone Golf Club in Walworth. Veterans, active duty and civilians are all welcome to participate in the event, which helps support Marines all across Western New York.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with a presentation of the colors in front of the Greystone club house, followed by a shotgun start. It’s not too late to register; for that matter, they’ll be taking registrations that morning at the event.

For more information, click here.

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Next weekend, July 28 and 29, the annual Waterfront Art Festival returns to North Ponds Park.

The event features artisans from all over Monroe County, who line the sidewalks with their tents, selling high-quality art and craft items. Food trucks and live entertainment will add to the fun.

Hours are Saturday July 28 and Sunday July 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $3, with children 12 and under free. North Ponds Park is located on the Rt. 104 access road between Holt Road and Rt. 250 (use the Rt. 250 exit).

For more information click here.

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More news from the village:

The last Webster Wine Walk of the year is Saturday August 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. You’ll want to be at this one for sure, even if you’ve participated in these wine walks before, because there are different venues included this time around.

At 9 p.m. Kittelbergers Florists invites everyone down to their shop for fireworks to celebrate their 90th anniversary.

For tickets to the wine walk click here.

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Finally, this is news from the Town of Webster for folks who live on or near Gravel Road.’

Beginning the week of July 23, workers will be milling and paving Gravel Road between Regina Drive and Klem Road.

According to the press release from the Town,

During construction, traffic will be maintained with daily lane closures as needed. Flaggers will be used to guide traffic around the work areas. Continuous access to driveways and side streets will be maintained, except when work is occurring directly in front of these access points. In these situations, the delay will only be for a brief time until construction personnel indicate that it is safe to cross the work zone.

The work will progress rapidly and is expected to be completed by mid August. All work will be performed during the day.

For more information and a map, click here.

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Jazz Fest returns this weekend

18 Jul

This summer has already been a hot one, but it’s gonna heat up even more this weekend when the annual Webster Jazz Festival rolls back into town.

The fun starts this Friday night July 20 with “Jazz in the Pubs,” an opportunity to hop from one pub to another, sampling great drinks and great music.

The schedule Friday night looks like this:

  • 6:15: Carlton Wilcox at Sweet Wood BBQ
  • 6:30: El Rojo Jazz at The Coach Sportsbar
  • 7:00: Higher Ground at Barry’s Old School Irish
  • 7:00: Marco Amadio at the Brimont Bistro
  • 7:30: Paradigm Shift at Ploty’s Hometown Tavern
  • 8:00: Amanda Ashley at Pub 235

Then on Saturday night July 21, everything moves into the street. West Main Street will be cordoned off, a huge stage set up, with plenty of room left over for lawn chairs and snack tables.

Here’s the schedule for Saturday:

  • 6:00 to 7:15: The Klick
  • 7:30 to 8:45: The Bill Tiberio Band
  • 9:15 to 11:00: Prime Time Funk

Bring your own picnic fixings and beverages or you can buy something from one of many food vendors set up along the street.

Admission to all of this great entertainment, indoors and out, is free. If you’d like to check out a gallery of photos from last year, click here.

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Webster community mailbag

8 Jul

mailbag iconThere’s a lot of good eating and great family fun in today’s mailbag.

The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 1130 Webster Road (at the corner of State Road) will host a drive-thru takeout chicken dinner sale on Thursday July 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Dinners will be cooked up by Heintzelman’s BBQ Pit of Ontario. They cost $12, and include a half-side of chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cornbread.

Proceeds will benefit the church’s Outreach Committee which supports local charities in the greater Rochester area.

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Here are a few fun notes from our friends at the Webster Public Library:

  • First, keep an eye out for them in the Webster Firemen’s Parade on Thursday July 12. One of the librarians will be riding the Book Bike and be giving out free books at the end of the parade. (What’s not to love?) Don’t know about the parade? Check out my previous blog.
  • Did you get a chance to see the terrific “We All Have a Story” photography exhibit at the library in May and June? The display highlighted images by local portrait photographer — and school district staff member —  Linda Hayes and was very well received.

On Thursday July 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. you can meet Linda herself as she discusses her process as a photographer. What motivates her? What inspires her? How did she get those great images!? You’ll hear about the project and her work from start to finish.

Registration is requested by visiting the Webster Library website. Date:

  • And one final note from the library: They’ll be at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market on Saturday July 28, and hosting a Cookbook Swap. Bring a cookbook you don’t use much anymore and you can swap it out for another one.

The Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday through October 27, rain or shine, in Webster Towne Center (Kohl’s/Target plaza). Check out the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market website and Facebook page for details.

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St. Martin Lutheran Church is holding a Pulled Pork Drive Thru BBQ on Saturday, July 21 from 4:30 until gone at the church on 813 Bay Road, Webster. Pull into the parking lot, place your order, and the dinner will be delivered to you in your car.

The take-out dinner includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for $9. Proceeds support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne counties.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Road in Webster.

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Finally, the First Baptist Church of Penfield would like me to tell you about their upcoming Vacation Bible School.

This year the week has a superhero theme, with activities to help children have “super speech, fantastic conduct, to share incredible love, lightning fast faith and magnificent purity.”

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s Vacation Bible School is August 6 to 10, form 98 a.m. to noon, and is open to children ages 4 through 11. Cost is $25 per child, or $50 per family. To register call the office at (585) 586-2876 or visit the church’s website.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Road.

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Webster Firemen’s Parade 2018 — the details

4 Jul

firetrucks

This morning I noticed that a lot of people were clicking on the blog I wrote in May about the village’s Memorial Day parade. I suspect that people REALLY don’t want to know about that parade, but instead are searching for information about the upcoming Firemen’s Parade.

So here, quickly, are the details. I’ll write a more complete blog about the parade and the carnival itself soon.

The Webster Firemen’s Parade begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday July 12 from the corner of Phillips and Ridge roads, travels west down Main Street, ending at Firemen’s Field in the village.

This is a huge parade. It will last 90 minutes or more. People start staking out their viewing spots the night before. If the weather stays this nice, you won’t want to miss it. Even if it’s not this nice, you won’t want to miss it.

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Village looks to upgrade two of its parks

30 Jun

If you’re a fan of our village parks, here’s something that might interest you:  Our village administrators are looking to make improvements to two of them, Schantz Park on State Rd. and Veterans Memorial Park (Gazebo Park) on North Ave.

A lot of changes are being proposed, all of which can be seen in the photos I’ve included above. You can also click here to see a detailed .pdf document:  2018.06.26 DRAFT Webster Parks Public Meeting. But here are some of the highlights:

Improvements to Schantz Park would focus mostly on the southeast portion of the park, adjacent to State Road. The tennis courts, which are infrequently used and are in very poor repair, would be removed entirely. Replacing them would be a much larger parking lot, a pavilion and a natural play area. All would presumably make the park more comfortable and welcoming for families and fans who come to watch ball games played there.

Plans for Veterans Memorial Park are much more extensive.

The biggest change would be the addition of a sidewalk encircling the entire grassy area of the park, expanding into a larger paved area directly in front of the gazebo. The idea here is to encourage better circulation and additional seating area, with the added benefit of providing easier access for those with disabilities.

The veteran’s memorial itself and its gardens would be moved from the southeast corner of the park to the northeast. And fear not, the park will still have a clock, although chances are very good it’s going to be replaced with something as handsome, but a lot less troublesome.

Sculptures, additional plantings, a rain garden, and a decorative gateway will make things look pretty.

While plans have been sketched out for both parks, right now the village is only planning to try for a state grant to work on Veterans Park, and focus on Schantz Park some time in the future.

The proposed upgrades come from recommendations provided by a six-member advisory committee comprised of village and local business representatives. Matt Chatfield, Executive Director of the Webster Economic Development Alliance, explained that the public meeting was the next step in the “quick concept phase” of the proposal.

“The grant application is just the first of many steps in this process,” he said. “If the Village is awarded funding, there will be several additional public involvement opportunities prior to any final design and construction.”

Of course this is going to be a long process (anything involving government administration usually is). The grant application isn’t due until the end of July, and we won’t know until December if we’ve been awarded any funds. If so, then there’s an entire year-long park design process. Construction wouldn’t even begin until late 2020.

No other information/comment gathering sessions are planned at this point. However, if you’d like to share your opinions about the planned improvements, you can fill out this form here. (It only asks your thoughts about Veterans Memorial Park because it’s the only one on the table for now.)

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