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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 night, 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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Webster community mailbag

19 Oct

Get your flu shot HERE! TODAY!

The Webster Public Library is hosting a flu shot clinic TODAY, Tuesday Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, 980 Ridge Rd. All vaccinations will be administered by a registered nurse, and no appointment is necessary. Please remember to bring your insurance card!

Registration is not necessary.

Pumpkins on Parade is this weekend!

The Webster Recreation Center’s second annual Pumpkins on Parade is this Saturday night.

This is an amazing, family-friendly Halloween-time event, when the Chiyoda Trail is lined with creative, scary, and downright funny Jack-o-lanterns. Community members and businesses are invited — no, encouraged — to carve up some pumpkins, and then bring the family that evening after dark to look for them along the mile-long trail which winds around the Rec Center. Afterwards, everyone gets free donuts and cider.

Community members are invited to come and walk the trail from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This year there’s also a shortened path option for seniors and small children.

There’s still time to carve a pumpkin (or several pumpkins) for the trail. The more the merrier! Drop your finished creations off at the Rec Center Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or Saturday between noon and 2 p.m. For every pumpkin you deliver, you get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a fun prize.

The Rec Center is at 1350 Chiyoda Drive (right off of Phillips Rd.).

UPK-5 Parent-Teacher Conferences to Span Four Days

A reminder to parents that Webster’s UPK to grade 5 students will have parent-teacher conferences this week and next.

All seven elementary schools will host conferences over four days: Thursday Oct. 21, Friday Oct. 22, Thursday Oct. 28 and Friday Oct. 29. This means a half-day schedule for UPK-5 students. Students in grades 6-12 have their normal, full-day schedule.

Elementary parents/guardians, please watch your school newsletters for the bus schedules. UPK families, individual schedules will be communicated by your child’s teacher.

Got drugs?

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.

WHEN, the Webster Health and Education Network, is joining forces with the Webster Police Dept. to sponsor an event this weekend to make it easy for you to clean out your cabinets. It’s the Fall Drug Drop-off on Saturday Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd.

Please note that needles, sharps, syringes, and biohazards CANNOT be accepted; only pills, liquids, and ointments. No appointment is necessary. Registration is not required, but it will allow the organizers to email you a reminder in advance of the event.

To sign up, click here.

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.   

Visit the Village Quilt Shoppe yet?

If not, here’s a great excuse to do so.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main St. in the Village of Webster, has announced they’ll be hosting their Holiday Open House on Friday Nov. 12. They’ll be demonstrating how to craft a quick and easy holiday ornament, will have their famous Hot Chocolate Bar set up, and have cookies and gift ideas for all.

The Open House will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the demo will take place on the hour, every hour.

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Webster community blood drive returns at a critical time

7 Oct

This October’s bi-annual Webster Community Blood Drive is coming at a critical time. 

The Red Cross’ national blood inventory is the lowest it’s been at this time of year since 2015. There have been some days this past month when there’s only been a half-day’s supply of type O blood. Fall is normally a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer, but that hasn’t happened this year, thanks in large part to COVID. 

So Webster, when the Community Blood Drive returns in a few weeks, we really need to step up to the plate.  

The two-day drive will be held Wednesday Oct. 13 and Thursday Oct. 14, from noon to 7 p.m., both days at the Firemen’s Exempt Building, 172 Sanford St. To assure proper social distancing, appointments are required. Click here to set one up, or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Regular Community Blood Drive donors will be pleased to know that Bruster’s will once again be offering a coupon to every presenting donor, good for a free small cone or dish of ice cream.  Plus, the Red Cross will also be giving all donors a $5 Amazon e-gift card, good for use at a merchant of their choice. (make sure your donor account is up to date so you can get the email.) 

This is always one of the best-attended drives of the entire year, and the Red Cross really has come to count on our community in times like these. Let’s not let them down.

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Webster Museum excitement, and other mailbag news

17 Sep

The Village of Webster’s latest turn on the local television news stations leads today’s mailbag.

Spectrum News recently got wind that the Webster Museum has just reopened, and reporter Wendy Mills visited several days ago to find out more. She met with Museum president Tom Pellett, from whom she got a thorough tour of the facility and a great interview.

The piece aired earlier this week on Spectrum, but has also been posted to the website, You can click here to see it.

And since we’re talking about the Webster Museum, now’s a great time to remind everyone that the museum’s annual Barn Sale is taking place this weekend, Friday and Saturday Sept. 17 and 18, at 394 Phillips Rd.

This really cool sale features vintage farm goods and furniture, toys, books, holiday goods, household goods, jewelry, glassware and more. You’re sure to find something to love.

The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and everything is half price on Saturday — or you can fill a bag for $5. This is the museum’s biggest operating expense fundraiser, so stop on by, find a treasure, and help them out.


A few notes from the Town of Webster:

  • The Town’s spray parks are now closed for the season. We can hope that summer is not quite over yet, but even if it hits 90 again, the kids can’t cool off at the spray parks until next year.
  • If you’re tired of putting up with abandoned homes in your area, the Town of Webster has given you some recourse to get them taken care of. If you suspect a home in your neighborhood has been abandoned, you can report it to the Town using a link found at this website. The site will also give you more information on what actually contitutes an abandoned home.
  • The section of Lake Rd. between Shipbuilder’s Creek and Stoney Creek Run is now open again after completion of a three-month construction project. You can check the status of upcoming construction projects and road closures on the Town of Webster website.

Looking ahead to October, Rochester Challenger Miracle Field will host an Art Exhibit on Oct. 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at CDS Life Transitions, 860 Hard Rd. in Webster. This will be a silent auction featuring artwork created by local artists with physical and developmental challenges.

The Pride of Webster, Webster Marching Band will hold its 35th annual Autumn Fanfare on Saturday Oct. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. This is always a spectacular display of talent from several schools in the Greater Rochester area, and if you haven’t seen one of these shows before, you should attend this year. The theme is “Unbroken,” which should conjure up all sorts of special props and effects. More info to come as the date gets closer.

Also that same evening, the Village of Webster will host its third Family Game Night and Beer Garden on West Main St. More to come about this as well, but if you can’t make it to the Autumn Fanfare, put this on your calendars.

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Get down and muddy at the Rec Center!

16 Sep

I wasn’t planning to post a blog today, but when I was out on my bike ride this morning, I came across something fun.

My ride took me on the Chiyoda Trail which wraps around the back of the Webster Recreation Center. I saw that preparations were being made for this Saturday’s first-ever Mud Run. This is going to be a non-competitive, untimed, half-mile slog through water and mud, with some challenging obstacles. What’s really neat about it is that kids and their adults can do it together. It’s only $5 per person, and there’ll be giveaways and snacks afterwards.

The Rec has long had an obstyacle/fitness course in their back yard, but this morning I saw that they were making it even more challenging. There were hay bales set up (for clambering over I suspect), some rope contraption I don’t remember seeing before, and two big mud pits.

As I came around the trail bend heading back towards the Rec Center, I saw the master architects behind it all: Jeff Janto and Josh Barnard, two Rec Center staff members who were dropping even more hay bales and wetting down the expansive field, trying to make even more mud and wetness before Saturday.

It was neat to see the preparations, but it saddened me a little; I’m not going to be in town, so I can’t crawl through the mud myself. It looks like SO MUCH FUN, and a great family opportunity to get down and dirty together. (Unfortunately, it looks like the weather will be nice. Can you IMAGINE how much MORE fun it would be in the rain?)

The Mud Run will be held this Saturday Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr. Registrations are still being taken. Sign up on the Parks and Rec website (program #301202).

Click here to see a little teaser video giving you an idea of what the Rec has planned, and check out the photos I took this morning:

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New music festival will benefit ALS awareness

2 Sep

One thing I’ve learned about Webster in the years I’ve lived here is that when someone needs help, this community rallies around them, big time.

OK, make that TWO things: Webster loves its music.

Both of those truths will be on full display on Saturday, Sept. 11 at a brand new music festival called Webster Rocks for ALS Awareness. The event is being held in part to benefit Kacie Jones, a former Coach Sports Bar employee who was diagnosed with ALS two years ago.

The event website explains,

Kacie is a 30-year Rochester/Webster young man who has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). He is in a fight for his life; a day-to-day battle to do even the simplest of tasks that most of us take for granted. On Saturday, Sept 11, we will come together for Kacie and others struggling to live with and fight ALS. Let’s help Kacie and his family raise awareness for ALS, provide alternative treatments, and bring about a possible cure for this disease.

Funds raised will also benefit Healing ALS, an organization dedicated to supporting awareness, research and care for those suffering from ALS.

The festival will be held on Saturday Sept. 11 beginning at 2 p.m. at the Webster Firemen’s Field on Ridge Rd. Food trucks will be on hand from 3 to 8 p.m., and alcohol sales will be provided by the Coach Sports Bar.

An incredible music line-up starts at 3 p.m., featuring Anthony Blood and Brody Schenk, State Line, Brass Taxi, Dial Up, and M80s. (Check the website for more details about the schedule.)

Tickets are $20 in advance (available from the Coach Sports Bar, 19 W. Main in Webster) and Eventbrite (but they charge fees, so stop by the Coach to save money). They’re still looking for volunteers, too, so ask about that when you’re picking up your tickets.

To read more about Kacie and his brave battle with this disease, check out this great story posted on WHEC-TV in March.

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Strike up the (Village) Band!

16 Aug

It’s so great to see life returning back to normal, bit by bit. One of the more recent signs of that is the return of Webster Village Band to the Harmony Park bandshell in a concert scheduled for Thursday Aug. 26.

The Webster Village Band is one of those hidden gems in our community. I mean, the performances are free, and they’re held in a park where you can stretch out a blanket or set up some chairs and enjoy the music while sipping some wine and juice boxes. And the music is superb.

Normally there are several concerts every summer, held on Thursday nights. But because of … well, you know … things have been on hold for a while. But next Thursday Aug. 26, beginning at 7 p.m. the band is back, with a beautiful performance that will remind us of how much we missed them. And did I mention it’s FREE?

In the event of rain, the concert will be held at Cherry Ridge Senior Center, 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd. in Webster (across from Webster Schroeder High School).

Here’s a little bit of Village Band history, if you’re interested:

In 1967, at the behest of Village Councilmember Gerry Barrett, the Webster Village Board agreed to create the Webster Village Band as a Village entity and asked Stan Maruszak to lead it. In the following years, Sue Siegmund began to assist Stan in Music Direction as the Associate Director and Marcia Naukam assisted in Band Administration.

When Stan passed away in late 2004, a group of band members worked together to continue the operation of the band and establish a band management relationship with the Village Board. Currently, the band has about 60 members and is led by conductor Tom Indiano and associate conductor Sue Siegmund. In 2017 the band celebrated its 50th anniversary.

See you at the concert!

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A morning of baseball like no other

26 Jul

“Heroes Helping Heroes.” There was absolutely no better way to describe the incredible event held Saturday at Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

You’ve read about this magical place in my blog before. Miracle Field is located in Ridge Park adjacent to Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

On Saturday, these young athletes were joined on the baseball diamond by local first responders — police officers, State Troopers, EMTs, firefighters — who ran with them around the bases and assisted them in the field.

Heroes helping heroes.

It’s a delight to see the joy on the faces of these young people when they hit the ball, round the bases and score runs. Or when they successfully snag a grounder — which is such a joyous event they’d rather show it to the adult standing next to them than actually throw it to a base. Their mile-wide grins are infectious, and their jubilation as they cross the plate makes every heart smile.

Saturday’s event featured several ballgames, plus kids’ activities, a dunk tank, a fire truck to climb on, a mounted patrol officer with her horse to pet, food trucks, give-aways, and lots more. It was a super, well-coordinated event that was a delight for everyone who attended. Thank you to Linda Burke, Don Barone, Ron Kampff, the rest of the Miracle Field members and staff, and all of the volunteers for making it a great day. I look forward to next year.

Click here for a gallery of more photos.

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Webster community mailbag: busy weekend ahead

20 Jul

Baseball and festival and ice cream. All perennial summer favorites, and you’ll find them all this weekend in Webster.

The fun all starts Saturday morning July 24 at Challenger Miracle Field of Great Rochester, during their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes for whom the field was built, and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. Visitors are invited to watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, and then hang around to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

It’s all free, there’s plenty of parking, and it’s going to be great family fun. Click here to learn more about Challenger Miracle Field.


The Waterfront Art Festival also returns to North Ponds Park this Saturday and Sunday after taking last year off (much like most everything else in life).

The Waterfront Art Festival is a fine art and craft show and sale that was started in 1973 on the Canandaigua City Pier. It was held in Canandaigua for 41 years before moving to Webster, where it has grown every year and become a highly anticipated summer event.

This year’s festival will feature almost 60 artisans displaying a wide variety of unique, high-quality pieces ranging from stoneware, beads and culinary items to jewelry, glassware and soaps… and so much more.

PLUS, there’s lots of live music (check the line-up here), a food court and wine/beer/cider tastings tent, all set up along the pathways and lawns of the picturesque, shady North Ponds Park.

Admission is $3, and kids 12 and under are free. There’s also plenty of free parking.


Here’s word of a unique new “summer camp” experience for kids who like to sew.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main Street in Webster, will offer a Stitch by Stitch Kids Summer Camp from Tuesday July 27 through Thursday July 29. Over the three days, young students will create their own drawstring backpacks, while learning more about sewing machines and techniques.

Classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. each day, and be taught by instructor Kelly Goodman. Cost is $60.

For more information, including a supply list, email The Village Quilt Shoppe through the contact page on their website, call them at 585-626-6916 or stop by their shop.


St. Rita Church in West Webster will be hosting their next “Saturdays at St. Rita” event this weekend.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on July 24, the community is invited to an ice cream social at the church, 1008 Maple Drive.

BUT THERE’S MORE THAN JUST ICE CREAM! You can also get dinner from Verno on the Roll, AND play miniature golf for free! There’s a book sale, gift basket raffle, and live music.

And of course, it’s all a warm-up to the annual St. Rita Fiesta, scheduled this year for Aug. 28. Stay tuned for more about that.


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Newsy tidbits from the town

12 Jul

Today’s kind of a mini-mailbag, highlighting some news I’ve gathered from various Town of Webster sources, including the weekly digital newsletter and the July edition of the hard-copy Webster Today.

Joshua Ramph (courtesy Town of Webster newsletter)

There’s a story in the digital newsletter, for example, about a recent Eagle Scout project which improved Miracle Field of Greater Rochester. Joshua Ramph from Troop 108 — assisted by several businesses, friends and Scouts — replaced the chain link fence there with a handsome split-rail fence.

You can read a little bit about the project in the newsletter, but I’m also trying to track Joshua down for more details, so look for a blog about this soon.

There’s also a notice on the website about how the Town is honoring veterans every week through September, and they’d like community members to submit names of past and present service members.

They explain,

In the absence of our usual summer parades and ceremonies, we will be recognizing our military with a virtual celebration each week, along with special recognition at Town Board meetings.

Here is where we need your help! Do you have a family member or friend who is a veteran or currently serving in our military that you would like to see honored by the Town?

We invite you to complete our online nomination form to submit their name, from now until September

To submit a name, click here and fill out this form. If you have any questions, email Communications@ci.webster.ny.us. This interesting note from the recent Webster Today: the Town is looking into the possibility of building a dog park. They’re in the very early planning stages, and are looking for community input.

So if you really like the idea of a dog park, click here and fill out the survey. It’s only an eight-question survey, so it shouldn’t take much time at all. And while you’re there, you can also fill out one of the other surveys you’ll find. There’s a Webster Parks and Recreation survey, one about the police department, and another about community sewers.

Finally, this actually came across my Twitter feed and Facebook page:

I have to believe that some of these “rumors” are tongue-in-cheek, or perhaps fueled without support by certain Facebook pages. If you need to get the straight story about these issues or any other Town news, I suggest you follow the Town Facebook page, Twitter feed, or just contact Town officials.

And definitely make sure to read the monthly Webster Today cover to cover.

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