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This year’s Peep Show was speeptacular

31 Mar

IMG_0495The 2019 edition of the Greater Rochester Peep show happened this weekend, and it was bigger and better than ever.

This annual extravaganza is sponsored by the Webster Community Chest. I’ve been attending since it began several years ago, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many people checking out the entries before. I didn’t get a final official count, but there must have been easily more than 100 Peeps-themed entries spread throughout six exhibition rooms, the whimsical creations of dozens of local businesses and community groups who were vying for one of many “Peeple’s Choice” awards.

Live entertainment was provided this year for the first time, featuring demonstrations by local groups including the Rochester School of Irish Dance and DK Dance Studio. Organizers also brought back the children’s activity room this year, along with a snack bar, merchandise table and raffles.

Peep Show visitors purchase tokens to vote for their favorite displays. All funds raised through the voting, raffles and snack bar will be split among several local charities.

Thank you to all of this year’s sponsoring organizations, and everyone who spent so much time creating the spectacular displays. And congratulations to this yer’s organizing committee for a job well done. You have created an amazing event which touches all corners of our community and brings everyone together in so many ways. I am already looking forward to next year.

Here are a some photos from the show. To see a full gallery, click here.

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News from the schools

21 Feb
gyus and dolls

The Guys and Dolls, Jr. cast features Aidan Jacobs as Sky Masterson, Madeleine Tischner as Sarah Brown, Sam Nagar as Nathan Detroit, and Analiesse Brown as Miss Adelaide.

The Webster schools’ musical season continues in early March when the students of Spry Middle School present the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls, Jr. 

Three shows are scheduled, Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Spry Middle School auditorium, 119 South Ave.

Spry productions usually sell out, so if you really want to attend, make sure to get your tickets early. They’re available online here beginning Feb. 25 for $7.

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Parents of incoming kindergarteners in the 2019-20 school year are reminded that the Webster CSD Kindergarten Parent Orientation and Registration Night is Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at your student’s school. Please note that this night is for parents only.

After Parent Orientation and Registration Night, kindergarten walk-in registration is available Wednesday-Friday, February 27-March 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., also at your student’s school.

For more information, go to Central Registration’s 2019-20 Kindergarten Registration webpage.

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And here’s another reminder about the upcoming information nights for the school district’s new Wondercare before and after-school childcare program. It’s being introduced next year at each of the district’s seven elementary schools in conjunction with the new start times.

Several information nights have been scheduled, and parents are asked to attend the one associated with their school if at all possible:

• Monday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. for Plank Road North and Plank Road South at Plank North
• Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Dewitt Road
• Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Klem Road South
• Monday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Schlegel Road
• Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Klem Road North
• Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. at State Road

These evenings will be geared for parents only. (Family meet and greet nights will take place in August.) If you cannot attend your home school date, you may attend at another location.

For more information about the program, including pricing, visit the WonderCare webpage at websterschools.org, email wondercare@webstercsd.org or call 216-0017.

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Finally, thank you to Heather Dale for sending along this news and photos from St. Rita:

Throughout Catholic Schools Week St. Rita School participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, a national movement that empowered students to create a culture of kindness. The students did teamwork and cooperative activities with their buddy classes, reading and building structures out of all sort of creative materials.

On the final afternoon, classes came to the gymnasium for a Kindness Pep Rally and partake in a cooperative activity called Powerball, using small balls to move a large ball across the other teams line. Then to show our school love, we made a kindness tunnel leaving the gymnasium where each class got to go through and receive high fives from all the other classes.

In addition, families of St. Rita Schools also donated many cans of soup on soup-er bowl weekend, and there were other “spirit” days that included wearing ties that reminded them they are “tied up in teamwork” every day.

SRS School Great Kindness Challenge 2

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Congratulations to nine St. Rita School alumni, class of 2013, who received the Hands of Christ Award this year.

These seniors are active members of St. Rita, Holy Trinity and St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishes, and have consistently demonstrated a Christian attitude by word and example.

This Hand of Christ Award is a recognition program to assist parishes in affirming their high school seniors who have been the “Hands of Christ” in their church, home, school and community.

SRS Alumni Class of 2013

Standing with Bishop Matano are Julia Spagnola, Lauren Quatela, Hannah Tette and TJ Tytler. Other St. Rita alumni who received the award are Brandon Connor, Taylor Loiacono, Meghan McAliney, Esther Moore and Jacob Russo.

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Get ready to Peep!

20 Feb

peep

Good news for Peeps lovers. The 2019 Greater Rochester 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 two 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.  (Click here for a small photo gallery from 2017.)

This year’s show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday March 30 and 31. 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.

Find out more about the show and how you can help by visiting the Rochester Peep Show website here, email peepshow@frontier.com or call 585-671-8738.

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It’s official –the Garlic Festival is back

24 Jan

garlic

I know, I know. I already told you last October that the Garlic Festival was returning. But now it’s really, really official, because the call has gone out for vendors.

The name has been changed — it’s now the Rochester Garlic Festival instead of the Webster Garlic Festival — but all of the other great things about the festival have not changed. There will be lots of garlic vendors and cooking demonstrations, other vendors and community agencies, live entertainment, food trucks and more. PLUS all proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field!

The Rochester Garlic Festival is scheduled for Saturday Sept. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center.

BUT FIRST the festival needs vendors. Organizers are now accepting vendor applications. For details about booth fees, visit the Rochester Garlic Festival website, or click here to download an application.

Make sure to check the website frequently for updated festival information. You’ll also want to follow the festival on Facebook and Instagram.

Still have questions? Email Katie Kovar at info@rochestergarlicfestival.com. 

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Sharing Christmas joy in the village

19 Dec

The week before Christmas has become one of the most musical weeks of the entire year in the Village of Webster.

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On Monday night, Robyn Whittaker, hairdresser extraordinaire, special event organizer, village cheerleader and all around good egg, hosted her third annual Christmas Carol Debacle. Robyn provides pizza and assorted spiked and non-spiked beverages for the event, which drew a big crowd of about 20 people this year, despite the promise of bracing winter winds .

The tuneful group stopped first at Rubino’s to serenade the employees and diners there. Then they wandered through a few east-side village streets, stopping at perhaps a half dozen other houses before heading back to The Coach via Burke’s Grill and The Bistro.

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The following evening, the Chorus of the Genesee took to many of those same streets for their annual Soup and Carol Night. The group was quite a bit larger — numbering maybe 30 or more (I never got an actual count), the weather much more comfortable and the signing voices much more in tune.

The first stop, as it has been every year, was Webster Eye Care Associates, which is pretty much across the street from the Harmony House. The folks there have hosted the annual visit from the Chorus carolers for 24 years, and this year greeted the singers with doughnut holes, hot chocolate and gift bags.

A second regular stop is the Cataldi home, where there’s always hot cider for the Chorus carolers. These folks always have a holiday party that evening as well, complete with instruments, and gather on the porch to perform a carol of their own (this year it was Mele Kalikimaka, accompanied by ukuleles).

My running club, Barry’s Runners, also helped spread some holiday spirit Tuesday evening, with our third (maybe fourth) JACK Foundation Run.

The JACK Foundation, formed in memory of young Jack Heiligman who lost his life in a tragic accident in October 2016. The foundation’s goal is to remember Jack’s giving spirit by passing on random acts of kindness.

Tuesday night, the Barry’s Runners did that — literally. We collected $200 in gift cards from places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Yolickity, CVS, the Apple Store, Wegmans and of course Barry’s Old School Irish, and while we ran through the village neighborhoods, we handed them to strangers or hung them on doorknobs and mailboxes. Perhaps you were one of the lucky people to find one this morning. If so, please make sure to pass on the kindness.

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Two blood drives in our area NOW

11 Dec

blood dropThe American Red Cross is back in town today and tomorrow, with two more convenient chances for you to donate blood and help save lives.

The need is especially dire at this time of year — pretty  much every year — because people get so busy and just don’t make the time to donate. Please, don’t be one of those people.

Here are the details:

  • Tuesday December 11, St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday December 12, Webster Knight of Columbus, 70 Barrett Drive, 1 to 7 p.m.

It only takes about an hour, and you can do your Christmas shopping afterwards.

Even if you don’t have an appointment, stop in anyway and they’ll be delighted to see you. I’ll be at St. Martin’s at about 4:15, so if you’re there, make sure to say hi!

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Another anniversary in the village

6 Dec

ploty'sHot on the heels of the anniversary blog about Yesterday’s Muse which posted on Tuesday, here’s more news about yet another anniversary being celebrated in the village this week.

Ploty’s Hometown Tavern turns one year old this week, and owner Eric Plotzger has a pretty exciting anniversary celebration planned for Saturday.

Ploty’s is located at  27 West Main Street, on the lower level of shops behind The Coach and Mozzeroni’s. You may remember The Vino Lounge being there for a few years.

I met Eric the first time at a table he’d set up on Main Street during 2017’s Halloween in the Village. His new pub wasn’t even open yet, but he had a big “coming soon” sign and was handing out beer cozies. It was just after Christmas that I made arrangements to visit the newly opened tavern and meet Eric and his wife Kourtney. Here’s the blog I wrote introducing Ploty’s to the village.

Ploty’s has since become my second-favorite pub in the Village of Webster (y’all know what my favorite pub is). The people are always friendly, the service is fast, there’s a nice selection of reasonably priced beers, the bar snacks are top-notch and there are a lot of sports on the TVs, if you’re into that.

Ploty’s anniversary celebration takes place this Saturday Dec. 8. It’s officially Pajama Night, so everyone is invited to wear their finest (appropriate) PJs. Amanda Ashley will provide live entertainment beginning at 8 p.m., there will be giveaways, drink specials and a cake to celebrate both the anniversary AND Eric’s 41st birthday.  Check out their Facebook page for more details.

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Yesterday’s Muse turns 10

5 Dec

One of my favorite village businesses is turning ten years old this month, and they’re planning a big celebration to mark the occasion.

Yesterday’s Muse, purveyors of used, rare and collectible books, opened the day of the 2008 White Christmas in the Village. I was thoroughly charmed and impressed by this little shop from the first day I walk through the doors later that month met the owner, Jonathan Smalter.  The reading nerd in me geeked out at the large, well-organized and attractively priced collection of used books.

unnamed

Since that day, Jonathan has continued to grow his impressive collection of first editions, signed editions, and rare volumes, along with the more “mundane” used books more in line with my interest and price range. He has also continued to be very involved in our community, always participating in village special events like White Christmas and the Trick or Treat Trail.

But the best change of all was when Jonathan married Kristine.

On his website, Jonathan reflected on the last ten years, writing:

Ten years. In a way it seems like it came and went in a flash; in other ways, I feel like the shop has been a part of my life forever. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, and guided me along the way.

My reliable staff members, Robert and Holly, deserve a hearty thank you for their hard work and dedication. My wonderful wife, Kristine, deserves an abundance of credit for putting up with the demands running a small business has put on me over the years, and for teaching me to how to keep smiling, and how to be patient on those inevitable days of frustration. She even took the time to commission a painting of the shop, which now hangs on the wall here as a reminder of how far we have come together.

Without you loyal customers, my faithful friends, and supportive family members, not only would doing this not be possible, it would not be worth it. I am proud to be a part of this community, and hope to remain one for a long time. I hope you will all continue to be a part of the shop’s story.

And now, on to the details of the celebration.

Yesterday’s Muse’s 10th Anniversary Open House will be held Saturday Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, a raffle, and all items priced $10 or less will be buy-one-get-one-free. Larger purchases will also be discounted through Dec. 14, including $10 off purchases $40 and over, and $25 off purchases $100 and over.

Other sales will also be in effect through the month of December. For details, sign up for the shop’s monthly newsletter on the Yesterday’s Muse website. 

Yesterday’s Muse is located at 32 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster.

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Christmas trees galore, thanks to the Webster Museum

4 Dec
IMG_9911

A look at the raffle prizes you can still win at the Webster Museum this week. 

Late yesterday afternoon after I got home from work, I got a very nice phone call from Amy at the Webster Museum. She told me that I had won one of the two Christmas trees that the museum was offering as part of their annual holiday raffle.

I had entered the raffle when I stopped by the museum during White Christmas in the Village on Saturday. So many gorgeous raffle prizes were piled on a table in the museum’s main room, but I was set on winning one of the fat Christmas trees which stood near the front entrance. After all, with the price of cut-your-own trees these days, combined with the hassle of slogging through the mud and snow to get one, I considered the $5 I plunked down for the raffle a good bet.

Turns out it was a very wise investment.

I tell you this story mostly because I want to give a public shout-out and thank you to the Webster Museum for not only hosting the raffle, but also delivering the tree to my door within an hour of when they called. Also, I want to thank Woody Acres in Penfield for donating the tree, and supporting our museum.

The raffle, by the way, is still going on this week. Even if the two trees are gone, there are still plenty of incredible raffle prizes to be won. Cost is just $5 for three entries, which will be accepted through the end of this week.

And while you’re there, make sure to check out the museum’s Festival of Trees. This annual event features adorable little 4-foot tall trees set up throughout the museum, each of which has been adopted and decorated by an individual, family or local organization. I snapped a few photos when I was there to give you an idea of what you’ll find (check out the slideshow below), but you really have to see them all for yourself.

Plus, you have to vote, Serious bragging rights are on the line for the most creative tree.  Votes are being taken through the end of the month.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. They’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Call 585-265-3308 for more information.

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Photos from White Christmas in the Village

2 Dec

IMG_0015Once again we didn’t have a whole lot of white for Webster’s White Christmas in the Village. But I’ll wager that the thousands who came into town for the cookies, wagon rides, caroling and visits with Santa appreciated the unusually warm temperatures.

We could have done without the light rain, though, which began just as the parade started.

Still, it was another successful event. The village looked beautiful, the businesses were all decked out in their holiday finery, and several who remained open throughout the afternoon benefited from a steady flow of holiday shoppers.

Of course I took a lot of photos. Many of them didn’t come out very well because of the low light and wet conditions, but I hope you enjoy what I did manage to get:

Click here to see the gallery. 

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