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Damascus Cruise Nights return

21 May

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Classic car enthusiasts will love this news:  the Damascus Center Cruise Nights are back for the summer.

There are lots of cruisin’ options around Rochester throughout the summer, but this one is historically one of the biggest — and I have to say one of the best. Run annually since 2008, it attracts up to 300 classic and vintage cars, kit cars, muscle cars, trucks and motorcycles every summer Friday night, and as many as 1,000 spectators.

There’s always plenty of parking, great food (the fish fry is legendary), raffles, indoor and outdoor seating, clean restrooms (always a plus), and an incredible view of Irondequoit Bay which no other cruise night can offer.

The family-friendly Damascus Shrine Cruise Nights take place at the Shrine Center, 979 Bay Road, beginning June 1. The fun starts at 5 p.m.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page here.

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Back on the blogwagon and heading to a FIESTA!

17 May

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I knew that being Internet-less would not be easy. But being unable to log onto my home computer for five straight days (thank you Frontier) really messed with my mojo a whole lot more than I expected.

I was able to hobble through though, in large part by using my phone’s 4G and friendly Internet hotspots in the village, but it was hard keeping up on my email and blogging.

But I’m back, thanks to a sparkling new Spectrum modem and a higher-speed Internet cable feed. Good thing, because now that summer is approaching, the events are going to come fast and furious.

Let’s start today with a preview of the 64th annual St. Rita Festival, which hits town again Friday and Saturday June 1 and 2.

I love this festival. It’s like a harbinger of summer, and a great inexpensive night out, with the added benefit of supporting a good cause.

Festival highlights include live music by Ruby Shooz and the Breakfast Club, inflatable and adventure rides for the kids, carnival games, a food truck rodeo, gift basket raffles, a book sale, plant sale, and more. And of course you can get into the raffle for $10,000 cash or a one-year lease on a car from Vision Automotive.  Five second chance winners will also go home with Wegmans gift certificates.

Here are some details:

  • Ruby Shooz will play on Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. and the Breakfast Club on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. Blankets and chairs are welcome.
  • The festival will introduce a new Car Show and Shine classic car show this year, from 3 to 6 p.m. There’s no charge to register a car or to attend the event.
  • In addition to the food truck rodeo, St. Rita’s famous Friday fish fry and Saturday chicken barbecue dinners will be back. They sell out every year, so get there early.

Admission to the Fiesta is free and parking is onsite, with handicap and shuttle options. For more information about the Fiesta, or to pre-order your discounted passes for unlimited access to the bounce houses, zip lines, and bungee trampoline, click here.

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Webster’s baseball history celebrated at the Webster Museum

13 May

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It’s no secret that Webster is a huge sports town. In 1985, the town was even named “Number 1 Sportstown in New York” by Sports Illustrated. What is less well known is how long ago our love for sports — and especially baseball — began.

Back in the late 1800s, adults and teenagers were playing on village ball fields and at Nine Mile Point; with hard rubber balls fast-pitched underhand; one bat for the entire team; often wearing coats and ties, and with no protective equipment.

It’s a rich baseball history, on display this month at the Webster Museum, and celebrated during a special event on Saturday May 19, called “140 Years of Webster Baseball.”

The special event is being spearheaded by Tom Pellett, president of the Webster Museum and Historical Society.  It’s been a year in the making, prompted by a comment made last May by Don Kuhn, a former Webster High School baseball player.

He recalled that back when he was playing in the early 1950s, the Webster High team went undefeated three years in a row — 1950, ’51 and ’52. The team came up with a trophy to recognize that accomplishment, which was then presented to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. So the town could have its own keepsake, a local service organization (Pellett thinks it was the Rotary) then created a plaque, which included a photo of the trophy, the letter from Cooperstown, and the names of all the players.

No one was exactly sure where that plaque had made it to, but Pellett started poking around the museum’s attic, and found it rather quickly. Shortly thereafter, Historian Lynn Barton unearthed two boxes with a treasure trove of local baseball history. Pellett started going through it all and the exhibit began to take shape.

The newly rediscovered plaque is the centerpiece of the museum’s new baseball exhibit, which also includes photos of all three undefeated teams and several other local teams, and old time uniforms and equipment. But what I found the most interesting were some of the personal stories.

One of those, dated 1878,  is considered to perhaps be the first recorded memory from a local ball game.

That story (which is part of the exhibit) tells about an adult baseball team in Ontario who had challenged the Webster team.  The Ontario team was a little bit miffed when they discovered their opponents were just teenagers. The Ontario coach approached the Webster coach and asked, “Is that all you got, these kids? He was told, ‘Well, trot your team out, we’ll see how they do.'”

At the end of the sixth inning, the score was 40-6 in favor of Webster. The Ontario team walked off the field and forfeited the game.

Obviously, players from that era are no longer around. But everyone who has played Webster baseball has a story, and Pellett hopes that baseball players and fans of all ages will attend the special event on the 19th.

As for all those Webster High School players from the undefeated teams? They’re all in their 80s now. Many have moved away, others have passed away. But several are still in town, and Pellett hopes that some of them will be able to attend, so they can visit the plaque and share some of their memories.

“140 Years of Webster Baseball” will be held on Saturday May 19, from 2-4 p.m. at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park in the village of Webster.  Admission is $5, which will include the very interesting historical presentation, a hot dog, peanuts and a lemonade or water. For more information, visit the Webster Museum website or call 585-265-3308.

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The commemortaive plaque is the centerpiece of the exhibit

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A close-up of the names of the players on the undefeated teams

 

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Love your library

18 Apr

logoChances are you didn’t realize this, but last week was National Love Your Library Week.

But don’t worry; all is not lost. If you get right on it, you can nominate our Webster Public Library as the best of the best public libraries. Just click here to fill out the nomination form, but do it quickly, because they’re due no later than midnight this Saturday April 21.

While we’re talking about our amazing library, let me get into a few more details about some of their upcoming events.

The Friends of the Library’s Spring Book Sale will be back next week. Members of the Friends get a sneak peek Wednesday night April 25 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. (if you’re not a member, you can sign up on the spot!)

The sale will then be open to the regular public on Thursday April 26 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday April 27 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday April 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday fill a bag for $4.00 or get all books half price.

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If you’ve been doing some spring cleaning and have a couple of boxes of stuff to bring to Savers, wait until Saturday May 5. All donations dropped off that day from 9 a.m. to noon will benefit the Friends of the Library.

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The Friends of the Library are looking for generous people to make hats, caps and head-warmers of all sorts for sale this coming fall to support Webster Public Library programs.

Crafty people are encouraged to knit, crochet, sew, weave or felt hats — infant through adult, beanies to head warmers, of any fiber or make (please include care instructions). Drop off your creations at the library, 980 Ridge Road, by October 1. The entire value of every hat sold will be used to benefit programs offered at the library.

Questions: email FriendsWebsterLibrary@gmail.com.

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Stay tuned for details about a terrific new photography exhibit coming up in May, called “We All Have a Story.” Webster Central School District teaching assistant Linda Hayes has created a series of portraits of several of her WCSD colleagues, including narratives of their life stories.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road. The entrance is in the back of the plaza off Van Ingen Drive. You can connect with them via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.

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End break week with some great library programs

22 Feb

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If your kids are beginning to get a little bored with having so much time on their hands this week, here are a few great kid and family-friendly library programs you’re gonna love.

Friday night Feb. 23, bring the family to the Webster Public Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for an after-hours evening of fun. Enjoy a family craft, retro video-gaming, minute-to-win-it challenges, live music by Bach to Rock and more. Snacks will be served.

Registration is required for this program, and there are only a few spots left, so make sure to log onto the library website to register ASAP.

On Saturday Feb. 24, your kids will help kickoff the spring season with the library’s IMG_5766“Seedy Saturday” program.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., both kids and adults can take part in a variety of spring gardening activities, including participating in a hands-on demonstration of worm composting; making plant labels out of a variety of materials; seeing an example of square foot gardening; making seed balls and seed starting containers; and learning how to start plants from seed.

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And here’s a heads-up about an important event hitting our town in April.

The second annual Challenger Miracle Field Fete has been scheduled for Friday April 13 at the Arbor Loft in downtown Rochester.

Anybody who’s anybody will be attending this festive, fancy celebration, which will feature food and drink, a live and silent auction, and entertainment. You’ll also hear a lot about what a great facility Miracle Field already is, and how your support can make it even better by helping build a pavilion, concession stand, accessible restrooms and a Play with Possibilities Playground.

I am pleased to also report that my close friends Jim, Mary and Katie Holleran are honorary chairs for the event.

Tickets are $100 each and can be reserved by clicking here.

Challenger Miracle Field is located in Ridge Park, behind Town Hall on Van Ingen Drive.  To read more about this tremendous facility, click here.

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Webster sparkled for White Christmas in the Village

3 Dec
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The Electric Parade, photo courtesy Sarah Rosenberry

For, like, the third year in a row, there wasn’t much “white” about Webster’s White Christmas in the Village celebration on Saturday.  Temperatures were unseasonably warm, so the village’s beautiful new streetlight decorations were the only snowflakes anyone saw that afternoon and evening.

However, things did look very Christmas-y. The shop windows were all decorated and sparkling, carolers strolled the streets singing holiday favorites, and hundreds of people took the opportunity to wear their Santa hats and reindeer antlers, and drape themselves in colored lights.

As usual for this event, things got off to slow start. But anyone who got there early got first crack at visiting with Santa at the Village Hall and taking a ride on the horse-drawn festival wagon. As dusk fell, though, Main Street started to fill with holiday cheer as thousands began to line Main Street in anticipation of the always popular Electric Parade.

There was plenty to do in the meantime. Kids enjoyed a bounce house, adults enjoyed sampling and voting in the chili cook-off (and later in the evening could get samples of Root Stock cider). The ladies of Rochester Rhapsody delighted everyone with original and classic Christmas carols. Barry’s Old School Irish was pouring free cups of hot cider and hot chocolate (and even though it was pretty warm out, they had a long line). There was cookie decorating, storytelling, and one of my favorites, the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir.

Basically, if you weren’t there, you missed a great time. Make sure to put it on your calendar NOW for next year.

The lighting was tough, but I tried my best to get a nice bunch of pictures. Click here to see the whole gallery.

And thank you to the members of the Webster Business Improvement District for sponsoring this delightful event.

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Santa has arrived in Webster

2 Dec

 

Santa arrived in Webster last night! I got a chance to visit with him, and nabbed a cookie to boot.

He had come to St. Martin Lutheran Church for their holiday event, where he took lots and lots of photos with children and sat with them for a Christmas story.  Kids also could make their own Christmas cookies, play board games, do some caroling and even write a letter to Santa which they could deliver in person. Plus, everyone enjoyed free pizza all night long.

As a bonus, the “cost” of admission was a food item to be donated to a food cupboard, and by the time I arrived, a whole cartload of food had been collected.

On that same note, St. Martin Lutheran is introducing a fun new idea this year: a reverse Advent calendar.

The way it works is this: Instead of getting a calendar and opening a little door every day this month, get a box (one from the liquor store works best), and every day this month put a can of food INTO it. By Christmas Day, you’ll have a box filled with food, which you can then deliver to the church for them to pass along to a worthy agency.

What an easy and fun way to spread the love and joy of the season.

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

Your next chances to meet with Webster’s Santa are today (Saturday Dec. 2) at the Harmony House (East Main Street) for Breakfast With Santa until 11 a.m.; at Towne Center Plaza (Target Plaza) from 12-3:30; then at Webster Village Hall (West Main Street) from 3:30 to 6 p.m. for the village’s White Christmas event.

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Christmas comes to Webster Saturday

28 Nov

fire truck

The holiday season officially begins this Saturday in Webster, when the village celebrates White Christmas in the Village. This annual festival features horse-drawn wagon rides, a bounce house, cookie decorating, storytelling, carolers, Santa (of course), and the always very popular Electric Parade.

Activities will begin at 3 p.m. with activities for adults and children throughout the village. The official schedule looks like this:

  • 3 to 6 p.m. — Horse-drawn wagon rides through the villagesanta
  • 3 to 6 p.m. — Bounce House on Main Street
  • 3:30 to 5 p.m. — Santa Claus at the Village Hall
  • 4 p.m. — Storytelling at Yesterday’s Muse Book Store
  • 4 p.m. — Cookie decorating
  • 4:30 p.m. — Rochester Rhapsody Carolers
  • 5 p.m. — Church of the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir on Main Street

The Electric Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Road and head west down Main Street. This spectacular parade features fire engines, floats and marching bands, all draped in thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. You’ll definitely want to bring the kids, but dress warm, and pack a thermos of hot chocolate, because this is a pretty long parade.

(Click here to see a gallery of photos from last year’s White Christmas celebration.)

CaptureBy the way, don’t forget to start out that morning with a hot breakfast, served up by the Chorus of the Genesee.

The Chorus will be hosting their second annual Breakfast with Santa, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster. The menu will feature French toast sticks and sausage, coffee, juice, and milk. Cost is $5 per person, $20 maximum per family. For tickets call (585) 265-9540 or visit chorusofthegenesee.org.

This will be a good chance to visit with Santa before everyone else descends on him when he’s at Village Hall later in the day.

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Bourbon lovers, unite!

15 Nov

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Wine lovers have had their day — OK, lots of them — with the Webster Wine Walks. Now bourbon lovers are getting their turn.

The Webster Business Improvement District BID) and Webster Wine and Spirits will host a Bourbon Bash this coming Saturday November 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Harmony House on East Main Street.

This is Webster’s very first Bourbon Bash for Webster, and it’s shaping up to be a really neat event.

Organizers have invited many local and well-known bourbon vendors to set up in the Harmony House for tastings. Several local restaurants will also be on hand to complement the bourbons, including Pub 235, The Coach, Gioia Mia Catering, Webster Hots, Smoking Hot Chicks, The Village Bakery and Brimont Bistro.

BBQ Blues Band will provide entertainment as attendees sample great bourbons from distilleries including Heaven Hill, Black Button, Elijah Craig, Iron Smoke Whiskey, Honeoye Falls Distillery, Jim Beam, and more.

Tickets are $20, available at the BID website and Hegedorn’s Market 964 Ridge Road.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Challenger Miracle Field to help finish the local field for challenged athletes.

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Webster Thursday mailbag

15 Nov

imageLots going on as the holidays start to gear up in earnest.

Here’s a fun thing to do this weekend: The Webster Thomas Players will present Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream in three shows this Thursday Friday and Saturday, November 16 through 18. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road.

Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.  Click here to check out a preview of the show.

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On Saturday, Spry Middle School will host a FIRST Lego League competition, which promises to be a fun spectacle.

Here’s a description/press release written by one of the SparX team members:

It’s that time of the year once again! Young students throughout the world are preparing to compete in this year’s FIRST Lego League competition, HYDRO DYNAMICS.

FIRST Lego League is a worldwide competition in which students ages 9-14 compete in challenges by creating a robot using Lego® blocks. In this year’s game, HYDRO DYNAMICS, kids have to create a robot that can do a variety of water-related functions, such as turning on a Lego faucet, flushing a Lego toilet, and replacing a broken Lego pipe. In between the games, the teams also make presentations to focus on the thematic issue presented each season. This season the teams are focusing on the importance of conserving water and the human water cycle. The kids use the scientific method and engineering design to solve their problems.

The last significant part of the game is designing a poster that goes over the fundamentals of Lego League: Discovery, Integration, Inclusion, and Cooperation.

On November 18, a regional competition will be held in Spry Middle School so the kids can show off what they have been working on for the past few months. Opening ceremonies begin at 11:00 a.m. If you are interested and want to learn more about the FIRST Lego League and the FIRST program, stop by or visit firstinspires.org.

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The Chorus of the Genesee has announced their second annual Breakfast with Santa, which will be held on Saturday December 2 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster. Photos with Santa will be available.

The menu will feature French toast sticks and sausage, coffee, juice, and milk. Cost is $5 per person, $20 maximum per family. For tickets call (585) 265-9540 or visit chorusofthegenesee.org.

Breakfast with Santa is happening on the same day as the Village of Webster’s White Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights (Saturday December 2), which features holiday activities all afternoon and evening. Watch for a more complete blog about that to come soon.

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The annual Henderson Ford Toy Drive is ending in the next two weeks.

The dealership, along with six other business partners, are calling for the community’s help for new and unwrapped toys. Donated toys are being given to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots and The Furnished 4 Life Christmas Store at the Wedge Market.

The Henderson Ford annual toy drive is one of the largest collections in Rochester for both distribution campaigns. The toys delivered by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be distributed in Rochester. The toys delivered to The Furnished 4 Life Christmas Store at the Wedge Market will allow for parental selection and pride in gifting.

You can drop off your new, unwrapped toy donations for all ages at any of the following locations:

  • Henderson Ford, 810 Ridge Road, Webster
  • Steinmiller Insurance, 1223 Bay Road, Webster
  • The UPS Store, 1900 Empire Boulevard, Webster
  • Webster Chamber Health Insurance Service, 1110 Crosspoint Lane Suite C, Webster
  • RAMP (Rochester Area Music Project), 31 West Church Street, Fairport
  • Edge Advertising Group, 6 North Main Street, Suite 220, Fairport

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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