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Thoughts on the First Responders 5K

2 Sep
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(Photo courtesy Mary White)

An amazing 625 people — both adults and children — participated in the second annual First Responders 5K on Friday night, which began on Sanford Street near Firemen’s Field and wound through the east side of Webster village.  It’s an impressive number considering it was the start of Labor Day weekend AND it was a Friday night, two very good reasons that race participants might have had other things to do or places to be.

But again this year, Webster and our surrounding communities showed how incredibly

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Before the race with my friend Holly. (Courtesy Mary White)

supportive they are of our first responders. And not only did the race attract a lot of runners, but the number of village residents who took the time to sit out front of their homes and cheer the runners as we raced by was heartening and very much appreciated.

Kudos to all of the firefighters and police officers who ran in their full gear; the weather was much improved over last year’s heat and humidity, but it must have still been a struggle to complete the 3.1-mile course while wearing many pounds of gear.

I took a few pictures, but not as many as our favorite Turkey Trot photographer Mary White. I’ve posted a few here, but if you’d like to see a lot more, click this link for an entire gallery.

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An invitation for park lovers

30 Aug

I’d like to extend an invitation today to anyone who loves — and appreciates — our Village of Webster parks.

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Expanding the village’s tree marker program is one goal of the Village Board’s Parks and Recreation Committee. 

First, a little background. Only a month or so after I became a new village resident, I was approached and asked if I would like to join the Village of Webster Parks and Recreation Committee. Apparently, the new village bike racks which I’ve been pushing for also fall under the purview of the Parks and Rec Committee. Since I seemed so invested in that issue, joining the committee itself seemed a natural next step.

I figured I should try to get more involved in my new hometown, so I accepted the appointment. Now I’d like to invite others to join the committee as well.

Many village residents are surprised to learn that our little village actually has FIVE different parks within its boundaries:

  • Harmony Park on Phillips Rd., which features the Village Band bandshell
  • Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. with the gazebo
  • Wilmorite Park on Iroquois St., with a playground, picnic table and basketball court
  • Schantz Park on State Rd., with tennis courts, a rock wall and playground
  • Milton Case Park, behind Spry Middle School, with 14 acres of woods and several trails.

One of the primary goals of our committee is to bring more awareness to these natural resources. We’ll also work to see that they are maintained and — hopefully — improved, and encourage development of new parks. To that end, at our most recent meeting, we discussed tentative plans for

  • a “discover your parks” scavenger hunt
  • creating a survey about park usage
  • distributing an informational brochure describing the parks
  • updating and expanding the tree marker program
  • visiting each park to inventory their condition, and more.

Thing is, counting me, there are only two people on the committee right now. We could use two or three more to help us implement all of our great ideas, and come up with new ones.

We meet once a month, on the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. in the community meeting room at Village Hall. Our last two meetings have lasted less than 45 minutes, so it’s not a huge time commitment.

If you’re interested at all, or would like to find out more information, please email me at missyblog@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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Race in Webster Village Friday night will affect traffic

29 Aug

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If you find yourself driving in and around the Village of Webster on Friday night, be prepared for some possible temporary road closures.

The second annual First Responders 5K will be winding its way through (mostly) the east side of the village Friday night Aug. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

first responders logoThe race is designed to raise awareness of PTSD in first responders, and raise funds for FRST Agency, a newly created organization that will provide support, awareness, assets, and services to first responders seeking assistance in dealing with the effects of PTSD.

It will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sanford St., on the south side of Firemen’s Field. Runners will head east down Sanford Street to South Ave., and then snake their way through the east-side neighborhoods before returning to Firemen’s Field. The course will take runners along Fuller Ave., Dunning Ave., Meadow Dr., Southwick Dr., Hawley Dr., Judson St., Harmon St., and Curtice Park, requiring temporary restrictions on these streets. In addition, Rt. 250 between State Rd. and Main St. will be closed for a short time and restricted for about an hour.

Click here for a map of the race route.

Organizers have mailed notices to all the affected residents on these streets, noting that while some streets will be closed during certain times, local residential traffic will be delayed but accommodated. So it’s not like you’re going to be trapped at home — or stuck on Main Street — for the entire race.

However, if you live on one of these streets and CAN afford to be stuck at home, please consider pitching a chair or two in your driveway and come out to cheer on the runners. As a frequent participant at races like these (and I will be running Friday night as well), I can attest to how great it feels to have people along the route encouraging you, ringing cowbells and handing out high-fives. This is a great community event, and it would be awesome to see the community come out in force to support it. (The race will run by my house twice, so I’ve convinced my husband to offer a special “water” stop for first responders in gear.)

If you’d like to participate as a runner OR walker, registration will be open on-site up to the start of the race. Just look for the registration tent at Firemen’s Field after 5 p.m. that evening.

For more information about the race, or to register online, click here.

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Checking in with the Quilt Shoppe

12 Aug

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I had the opportunity to pop into the new Village Quilt Shoppe Saturday just to say hi to owners Monique Liberti and Vanetta Parshall and see how their first few days went.

Monique told me they have been warmly welcomed to the village. Since I stopped in a week ago, she and Vanetta have equipped their classroom space at the back of the store, added a few more decorations to the shop and a new sign out front.

If you haven’t yet, try to pop in this week and let them know how happy we are to have them in the village. (Even if you’re not a quilter.)

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The garlic is BACK!

24 Jul

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Garlic lovers, rejoice! The Webster Garlic Festival is returning this year, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

For starters, its increased awesomeness has led to a name change. It’s now the Rochester Garlic Festival. It’s scheduled for Saturday and Sunday Sept. 14 and 15, and will still be held at the Webster Rec Center on Chiyoda Drive.

Details are still being finalized, but organizers expect about 100 vendors, including garlic growers, specialty food vendors, arts and craft vendors, and community organizations. There will be four food trucks, and live music both days including the Zac Brown Tribute Band, the Walter Chatman Experience, State Line and The Breakfast Club.

Two Wegmans chefs will present demonstrations, there’ll be a beer tent, a kids’ play area complete with bounce house.

See? I told you it was bigger and better.

Admission to the festival is $5 per day, with children 12 and under free. Admission includes free parking, shuttle transportation, live music, cooking demonstrations and access to arts vendors and a kids’ play area.

All proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester. The field itself is up and running — and being used regularly — so now the focus is on building a barrier-free playground, an inclusive playground for kids with and without disabilities around Rochester. 

Click here to learn more about Miracle Field, and click here for more details about the Garlic Festival.

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New Chandeliers Boutique helps continue East Main’s renaissance

19 Jul

Webster’s East Main Street is coming back to life, and that’s great news for the village.

For too long, East Main, especially the north side, seemed to be struggling, pock-marked with empty storefronts. Aside from a restaurant or two and a few shops on the south side of the street, there really wasn’t much reason to be down there. A few art-themed shops tried to make a go of it, but didn’t last very long.

The only good thing about the situation was that it was really easy to find a parking spot.

But all that seems to be a thing of the past. Now under the ownership of Charlie Fitzsimmons, that once vacant stretch of East Main Street is seeing a renaissance. Several new businesses have moved in in the past year, including the Village Bakery, ROC & Soul Fitness, Suzanne Neace Photography, The Pickled Paintbrush, Lala of Webster and an expanded rSalon & Spa.

Most recently, another unique new shop has joined them, Chandeliers Boutique.

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Chandeliers opened its doors just a few weeks ago at 32 E. Main Street. I stopped in the other day, and was pleased to discover a large, spacious shop filled with dresses, tops, shoes, skirts, pants and jewelry. Staff member Karen McKissock came out to greet me personally, and we were soon joined by store manager Marlane McCue. Together, they tried to put the essence of the shop into words.

It’s “boutique shopping at affordable prices,” Marlane said, featuring “items you’re not

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Karen McKissock and Marlane McCue at Chandeliers.

going to find in the mall. You’re not going to see someone else walking around the street with it on.” 

Karen added that Chandeliers offers “a more personal shopping experience. There’s coffee, there’s help if you need it. If you try something on and you need advice, we’re here.”

The fashions, Karen said, are not really dressy, but rather “casual and comfortable.” Things that go from “business to casual easily,” Marlane added.

This is actually the third location for Chandeliers, which can also be found in Canandaigua and Pittsford. Marlane said that owner Darlyne Truax was looking at several possible spots in Webster but ultimately decided on 32 E. Main because she liked Fitzsimmons’ “goals” for the village.

“I think she really was very happy about … how ambitious he was about bringing people into the town. To make it a walking village.”

That dream is becoming a reality. Chandeliers, together with its neighbors The Pickled Paintbrush and Lala of Webster, combine to make a perfect trio of cute “let’s wander in here” shops, exactly the kind of stores we need here in Webster to bring people back into town.

If you’re headed into town for the Jazz Fest this Friday and Saturday, it’s a great chance to stop in and check them out. They’re right next door to each other on East Main Street.

Chandeliers is open seven days a week. If you’d like an especially personal shopping experience, ask them about their after-hours shopping get-togethers, when you can gather a bunch of friends for refreshments and a private shopping party.

Find out more about Chandeliers on their website, or call 585-622-1266.

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Big Webster weekend coming up

17 Jul

Summer events will heat up big time this weekend, and I’m not just talking about the weather.

jazz fest 1

For starters, the Webster Jazz Fest returns for two nights, filling our pubs and streets with music.

It starts Friday night with Jazz in the Pubs. Basically, music begins at 6:30 p.m., with overlapping performances in six different pubs through 9 p.m. It all begins with a performance by Peter Chwazik and Shark Riot at Coach Sports Bar, while Mel Henderson and Gerry Youngman set up at 6:45 at Good Smoke BBQ. Music will continue through the night at Brimont Bistro, Barry’s Old School Irish, Ploty’s Hometown Tavern and Pub 235, concluding back at the Coach.

Jazz on the Street on Saturday will begin at 4 p.m. with performances by Jimmie Highsmith Jr., the Walter Chatman Joyful Music Experience, the Bill Tiberio Band and Prime Time Funk.

West Main Street will be closed by mid-morning to set up for this awesome afternoon and evening of music. Organizers will have several cafe tables available, on a first-come, first-served basis. Otherwise, bring your quad chairs and set up shop with your own food and snacks. Village restaurants will be serving food, with wait staff bringing it right to you, so don’t worry about going hungry.

The weather looks good (although hot) and the music will be awesome. It’s one of Webster’s best events, and the village will look spectacular.

For more details about the bands and when and where they’ll be playing, click here.

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As long as we’re talking about good food if you’d like to grab dinner before heading out to the pubs Friday night, make sure to stop by Webster Schroeder High School between 5 and 9 p.m. for a huge Food Truck Rodeo.

This year’s fourth annual rodeo will feature 13 trucks, including Macarollin’, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza Catering, Craft Crepes, The Meatball Truck Co., Roc City Sammich,  Smoothies Plus Ice Cream, Sweet Sammie Jane’s Pastry Shop, Rob’s Kabobs, Al Dente, Abbott’s Frozen Custard, Kona Ice, Eat Greek and Bay Vista Taqueria.

There will also be firetrucks and face painting for the kids, live entertainment and a car show. Admission is free. Bring your chairs, blankets, and plenty of cash! A portion of the food sales benefits the Webster Marching Band.

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Joe obbie logoSo they say it might be one of the hottest days in Rochester history this Saturday. What a perfect day to have a Christmas in July party at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market!

Santa will be on hand to take some early Christmas gift requests from the kids, and the Webster Village Band will be playing holiday music.

If you’ve never been to this market, this is a great time to visit. You’ll find baked goods, pies, meats, poultry, goat cheese and goat cheese products, flavored nuts, herbs, spice blends, honey, maple syrup, cider, soap and body care products, plants and cut flowers, jewelry, crafts and of course a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

The market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 27, rain or shine. Check out the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market website and Facebook page for details.

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Photos from the Kiddie Parade

13 Jul

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The fire trucks had their parade on Thursday, but on Saturday afternoon it was all about the kids.

The annual Firemen’s Carnival Kiddie Parade kicked off from Spry Middle School at noon on Saturday under very sunny, hot skies. At about 15 minutes long, it was a much, much shorter parade than its big brother Firemen’s Parade, but none the less entertaining.

It’s always fun to see the creative floats and costumes that many a mom and dad have come up with. But it’s also delightful to see the little ones being pulled in a wagon or pedaling along furiously wearing just a Halloween costume.

As exciting as it is for these kids to be in an actual parade, I think they especially (and maybe even mostly) liked throwing candy to the crowd.

I took a lot of photos, of course. Click here to see a whole gallery.

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2019 Fireman’s Parade in photos

11 Jul

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It was nip and tuck for a while, but the rain did hold off long enough Thursday night for the almost 90-minute Fireman’s Parade to wind its way completely down Webster’s Main Street. It was a little warm, but that didn’t seem to keep many people away; as usual, the parade route was lined with children and families from start to finish.

For those of us who have seen it before, there wasn’t much new this year. There were LOTS of fire trucks and ambulances (it always amazes me how far away these rigs come from to participate), a lot of businesses, a few politicians, dance groups, and community agencies. Much candy was thrown and many children were able to fill their collection bags rather full with dum-dums and tootsie rolls.

As usual, I took a lot of photos, trying to highlight not only the parade participants, but also the children, families and pets who lined the street. It’s really a party atmosphere every year for the Fireman’s Parade — literally, as evidenced by the many house parties being held along the route.

Click here to see my photos. If you took any of your own which you would like me to add to my gallery, please feel free to email them to me!

The annual Kiddie Parade happens Saturday at noon, and I’ll be taking a lot of photos of that as well, so watch for those!

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Baseball and carnival news

9 Jul

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A couple of quick notes this morning. First, this photo sent to me by Melissa Bolton with happy news about some of our local athletes.

Last weekend, the Webster Warthogs 15U Baseball team competed in PBR East West Battle Championship in Cortland and brought home the title. Congratulations for another job well done, and for continuing to make Webster proud!

Next. I grabbed these photos this morning from the Firemen’s Field, where the carnies are setting up shop.

The annual Firemen’s Carnival begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6 p.m., featuring craft beer and entertainment by Claudia Hoyser, in addition to the ever-present rids, games, food and drink.

The HUGE parade begins at 6:30 on Thursday, kicking off from Phillips Rd. and heading west along Main Street to the carnival site. Thanks to my friend Sarah, I got a sneak peak at this year’s parade line-up, and all I gotta say is … wow.

There are no fewer than 90 units marching this year, and I counted 25 different fire departments, from as far away as Canada, many of whom are also bringing representatives from their ambulance corps. So if your kids like fire trucks, lights and sirens, get a seat early.

No, really. People start setting up their chairs along Main Street early in the morning for this parade. It’s THAT good.

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