Webster’s very own corner of Ireland is turning 10

18 Oct

Ten years ago this month, a brand new pub opened at the Village of Webster’s four corners.

On Oct. 9, 2011, Barry’s Old School Irish held its grand opening, complete with a ribbon cutting, Irish dancers, an Irish music jam session, and coffee and desserts served up for all who entered.

The celebration was very well attended. For months, village residents had watched with great interest as the former plumbing business transformed into what the sign in the front window called an “Irish pub and bakery.” This was their chance to finally check out the new place. What they found was a cozy “public house” with two young owners who welcomed everyone with genuine smiles and open hearts.

No one realized on that day what a tremendous effect Barry’s would have on the Village of Webster.

In the last ten years, Barry’s Old School Irish has become much more than just a pub. It’s become more like … Webster’s community living room, where families and friends meet for dinner and pints, birthday celebrations and engagement parties, gather to enjoy some real Irish tunes, or just find a quiet corner to have a cup of coffee and send some emails.

After honeymooning in Ireland, Danny and Jessica Barry dreamed of bringing small-town Ireland to small-town Webster. Anyone who’s been in a real Irish pub knows they’ve accomplished that. The dark woods. The walls crowded with photos and posters. Weekly traditional Irish music sessions. The kind of authentic atmosphere that attracts all of Rochester’s best Irish musicians.

Basically, Danny and Jessica Barry have turned their little corner of Webster into a little piece of Ireland. And along the way, they’ve created a place where everyone who walks in immediately becomes a part of the extended Barry’s family.

On Saturday Nov. 6, Danny and Jess will invite all those family members back to celebrate their little pub’s 10th anniversary, four (or more) hours of live Irish music, Irish dancers, free Irish whiskey and giveaways, a bagpiper, perfectly poured pints and more. More details and a complete schedule can be found at the Barry’s Old School Irish Facebook page.

This is not just a great party — although it most definitely is a GREAT party. This is also a chance for all of Webster to stop by and give a rousing thanks to Danny and Jessica Barry for everything their little pub has done for our village.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main St. in the Village of Webster.

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

One Webster community comes together to help others

17 Oct

The Webster Central PTSA and the Webster Teachers Association (WTA) will be joining forces this year for the 2021 Concert Apparel and Winter Coat Drive.

Organizers are asking for donations of gently used concert attire (white dress tops, black dress bottoms and black ties) and gently used winter coats of any size, which will then be offered to other families who could really use them. This is a great chance to clean out your closets, get rid of that old concert stuff you bought for the kids two years ago, and make room for some new winter gear.

The PTSA has placed large bags in the main office of every school in the district, where families can drop their donations. WTA president Chris Wojtas has gotten the teachers on board as well, asking them to donate winter coats. This is the fourth year the PTSA has held this drive, and with the additional help from the teachers, they expect it to be the best one yet.

Donated items will be available free to anyone who needs them, on the “shopping day,” Saturday Oct. 23. PTSA will have tables set up at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Look for the tables outside (weather permitting) or just inside the lobby doors.

You do NOT have to donate an item to take an item (did I mention they’re FREE?) Any leftover items will be taken to the clothes closet at Schlegel Elementary School and/or to HOPE House in Webster.

Families have until Friday Oct. 22 to donate their items, or you can even bring them to the “shopping” day.

In years past, this event was greatly appreciated by many, who were grateful to go home with some free concert clothes or winter jackets. This year especially, with so many families facing financial harships due to COVID, this is a heartwarming way for the greater One Webster community to come together in support.

FOOTNOTE: The “shopping” day is the same day that Webster Parks and Rec is accepting jack-o-lanterns for their Pumpkins on Parade luminary event that evening. So make a pumpkin, drop it off, and do some shopping, all at the same time!

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

We all need to support these Friends

16 Oct

A few days ago I received my Friends of Webster Trails digital newsletter, one of the perks I get as a member. And like always, it kept me captivated for an hour, reading all of the updates and newsy articles about our local trails, what the Friends are doing to maintain them, and their plans for future enhancements.

If you’re not familiar with the Friends of Webster Trails, please continue reading, especially if you’re a fan of the miles and miles of well-maintained trails that criss-cross our town. This all-volunteer organization is the reason our town’s trails are so plentiful and beautiful. These folks put in thousands of hours every summer planning, creating and maintaining these trails, and organizing family-friendly events to help show them off.

The quarterly newsletter does a great job keeping us all up to date on their progress. In just this edition, for example, I read about

  • a group hike at Whiting Road Nature Preserve on Saturday Oct. 23
  • a scavenger hunt for kids at Four Mile Creek Preserve on Saturday Nov. 6
  • the annual Hot Cocoa Hike at Whiting Road Nature Preserve on Saturday Nov. 6
  • recent updates to the Hojack Trail, Four Mile Creek Preserve, Finn Park and the brand new State Rd. Nature Preserve
  • plans to purchase mowing equipment to keep the Hojack Trail better maintained
  • plans for a monthly Friends of Webster Trails group hike
  • coordination with the Town of Webster to help conserve undeveloped land for greenspace

And there was lots more. I was especially interested in the report from Hal Harris about the town’s newest trail system, at State Rd. Nature Preserve. Hal wrote,

State Road Nature Preserve consists of 84 acres adjacent to Arbor Creek townhomes (between Phillips and Salt). This preserve was dedicated to the Town by the developer. It contains several wooded areas, several marshes, an old farm pond and is bisected by Four Mile Creek. The developer has built a trail on the west side of the creek. Although it is on Town property, the HOA is responsible for its maintenance. We are working on a trail system east of the creek. This fall we expect to build a bridge across the creek to connect the east and west trails. We also expect the Town will put in a trailhead parking lot on State Road next year.

Given all this amazing work, it’s disheartening to see how relatively few people support the Friends financially. In her membership report, Denise Bilsback wrote that there’s been only “a trickle of new members” every month, and they’ve recently had “a bunch of members” who did not renew. Current membership, as a result, stands at around 200. Given the numbher of people I’ve seen out and about on the trails, I KNOW there are more than 200 people using them regularly.

So I hereby encourage EVERYONE who enjoys our trails to become members of the Friends of Webster Trails and put your money where your hiking boots are. (Or send in your renewal!) It’s really inexpensive; a single membership is just $10 a year, and a family membership just $15. When you sign up, you’ll get the quarterly newsletter too, plus direct-to-you notifications about upcoming hikes and special events.

Click here to read more about the Friends of Webster Trails and get details about their upcoming events. If you’d like to become a member, click here. If you want to chat with some of the trail bosses in person, the Friends will have a table set up at the Webster Recreation Center’s 10th anniversary celebration on Nov. 5. So stop by!

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Town and village leaf collections begin soon

15 Oct

There are so many things to love about living in Webster. Two years ago, just months after moving into our new house in the village, I wrote an entire blog about one of the best of those things: I DON’T HAVE TO BAG ANY LEAVES.

You see, I moved into Webster from Penfield, where they still require residents to bag their leaves and leave them for the waste haulers. Given that there were a LOT of trees on my property, that meant hours and hours with a rake every weekend during the fall. So I love that the Village will pick up our leaves, and I just have to rake them to the curtb. It’s so much easier!

Here are the details about both Village and Town leaf collection services, taken from their websites:

Webster Village

This service begins when the autumn leaves begin to accumulate on the ground and will be on a daily basis until the beginning of December, or until the first heavy snowfall, whichever comes first. The Public Works Department will traverse each Village street once a week to remove leaves from the curb. To help make leaf pickup easier for yourself and our DPW staff, we request you follow some simple guidelines:

-Do not place brush, rocks, pumpkins, wood, plastic, or other foreign material with your leaves
-Do not bag your leaves for Village curbside pickup
-Do not place leaves in roadway, or on top of drainage structures, concrete, in gutters, or drainage ditches

The village also provides brush removal every month. For more details about that, visit the Village of Webster website.

Town of Webster

We start on the west side of town heading east and will make as many passes through town as possible during the leaf pick-up operation, weather permitting. There is no set schedule for particular streets throughout the town. Leaf season typically runs six weeks and start and finish dates vary based on actual leaf drop.

Please be patient with us during this process, as leaves do not all fall at once, and we never know what to expect for our weather conditions.
– Make sure leaves are on the edge of the road and not in the road or gutter
– Rake only leaves (and not twigs or branches) to the road’s edge
– Placing leaves in the road or gutter significantly slows down the entire operation. It is against the law to place leaves or any debris in the road.

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

14 Oct

Some news from the Webster Public Library to start out this week’s mailbag.

The Artist’s Wall display this month highlights the Greater Rochester Peep Show, an annual fund-raising event which benefits the Webster Community Chest and other participating charities.

The event features hundreds of whimsical and creative works of art made almost entirely of Peeps marshmallow candies. Next time you’re at the library, stop by the wall to read more about the event and see photos of some of the entries from previous years.

Two very interesting programs are coming up just for adults:

On Tuesday Oct. 19, Webster resident Rosemarie Cook-Manley will present a travelogue from her recent trip to Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. The program will run from 2 to 3 p.m. Click here to register.

Then on Wednesday Oct. 20 from 3 to 4 p.m., Webster Museum president Tom Pellett will present a program on Civil War Veterans of the Five Webster Cemeteries. Click here to register for that one. Space is limited.

Other events coming up this month at the library:

  • Monday Oct. 18: Make it Monday, from 6 to 7 p.m., a craft night for adults and kids grades 4 and up. This month’s craft is a DIY Sharpie mug.
  • Tuesday Oct. 26: Spooky Storytime from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Feel free to wear your Halloween costume.
  • Friday Oct. 29: After-hours Halloween Party for grades 4 to 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Features snacks, crafts, games, a costume contest and more.
  • Sunday Oct, 31: Library Trick-or Treat Night, for the whole family. Slots are available between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to trick-or-treat through the library.

For more information about all the programs and to register, visit the “Library Events” tab at the library website. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back side of the plaza.


One last reminder about this Saturday’s Webster Village Family Games Night/Beer Garden.

This time the evening will have an Oktoberfest theme, featuring The Krazy Firemen Oktoberfest band. The event begins at 5 p.m. on West Main, with the live music all evening, street games, a dance party with Dancing With Denise, crafts, food and games, and more. It should be a great night to get together with family and friends. There’ll be something for everyone.


St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Rd. will host a pulled pork drive-through BBQ on Saturday Oct. 23, from 4:30 until they sell out.

The take-out dinner includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for just $10. Proceeds will support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Pull into the parking lot, place your order using exact payment, and the dinner will be delivered to you as you drive up in your car.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Rd.


Here’s a fun note that came from the schools.

Last Friday, Webster Thomas High School Assistant Principal Jeremy McBride and students Jacob Loveland and Jacob Bieg went “Bald for Bucks.” The trio had their heads shaved tor raise money to fight cancer.

Each of the newly bald men has had at least one person they care about affected by cancer, so they decided to raise funds in the fight to eradicate the disease. The donations they collected will be donated to 13thirty Cancer of Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Here’s a sneak peek at at few things I’m working on (stay tuned!):

  • Yoga at the greehouse
  • Pumpkins on the path
  • A very Irish anniversary
  • Ghouls in the streets
  • Leaves at the curbs

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Miracle Field is gonna be FAMOUS!

11 Oct

Here’s some exciting news coming from our friends at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field.

For those of you who don’t know much about this incredible facility, Miracle Field — located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall — is designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers children and adults 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.

This Saturday at 7:30 p.m., WROC-TV Channel 8 will be running a 30-minute special highlighting the facility, the programs, the athletes, and the family members and friends who come out to cheer on these incredible athletes. And like any good sports wrap-up show, there’s sure to be some exciting highlights!

Challenger Miracle Field is positioning the program as one of its biggest fundraisers. Supporters are encouraged to sponsor the program with a donation, purchase a ticket (which includes a take-out meal for you), or perhaps host a viewing party, the cost of which includes catering for eight guests delivered to your home.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, click here.

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Live theater is back, courtesy the Webster Theatre Guild!

10 Oct

After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, the Webster Theatre Guild will return to the stage for five performances of Little Women: The Musical this coming weekend, October 15-17.

Yes, this is the charming story we have all come to know and love. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s life, Little Women: The Musical follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested. Her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she must do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

The original production starred Sutton Foster, who received Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations for her performance. When the Webster Theatre Guild brings their production to the stage, you can expect some equally outstanding performances.

The Webster Theatre Guild’s cast (pictured above) is led by Lyndsey Lord as Jo, Erynn Hill as Meg, Hadley Strelau as Beth, Jennie Gilardoni as Amy and Kate Bond as Marmee. Guild president James Pringle is calling it an “all-star cast.” He wrote,

the actors’ experience runs very deep, having portrayed characters in shows produced by many other community theater groups, including Blackfriars, JCC Centerstage, Pittsford Musicals, RAPA, and, of course, the Webster Theatre Guild. But their acting and vocal training is very impressive, and it’s immediately apparent soon after they take the stage.

Two significant adjustments had to be made for this return performance, thanks to COVID-19. For starters, the ensemble has had to move the production from their normal home at Webster Thomas High School to the JCC’s Hart Theater. In addition, to make sure everyone is safe, all audience members 12 and older will be required to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination (completed at least 14 days prior to the date of the event) upon arrival. Masks will also be required.

Performances of Little Women will be held on Friday Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Oct. 16 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 17 at 2 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $20 and can be purchased in advance by visiting the Webster Theatre Guild website. The JCC Hart Theater is located at 1200 Edgewood Ave., Rochester.

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Once a Titan, always a Titan

9 Oct

Most of you probably know that I retired at the end of last school year, after 20 years as a library teaching assistant.

I should qualify that statement a bit. I officially retired in June, but I’ve already been subbing in various buildings for 14 days. For those who are counting, that’s more than half of the school year so far. Many of the students (and staff members) in my old schools are beginning to look at me with puzzled expressions and asking, “I thought you retired?”

For most of those 14 days, I’ve been helping out in the elementary schools — especially Schlegel Rd. and Plank Rd. North — where I spent the last five years of my district career. But yesterday I filled in as a library teaching assistant at Webster Thomas High School. And I have to say, it felt like coming home.

I spent the first 15 years of my career as a T.A. in the Thomas library, and during my time there I made a lot of good friends. So one of the first things I did yesterday morning when I got to school was take a walk through the halls to see how many teachers’ names, posted over the doors, I still recognized. I was pleased to see that most of my former colleagues are still there, even after all this time. If I saw one of them at his or her desk, I popped my head in to say hi, and was invariably greeted by a big smile and a hearty “welcome back”!

It was a great day to be subbing at Thomas: Pep Rally Day, the rollicking culmination of Homecoming Week. This was always one of my favorite days of the year, when all the students would dress up in their class colors, decorate the halls, and come together at the end of the day for a boisterous, rowdy pep rally.

In previous years the rally took place in the gym, and the noise was deafening. This year for the first time, no doubt in deference to COVID-19, it was held outdoors in the stadium (fortunately the weather was gorgeous). The pep band performed, and mini-contests like Can-Jam and “who can scream the loudest” were played for class points. The noise was still deafening.

It was just like I remembered it. So much fun.

A lot has changed at Thomas in the last five years, most notably the library itself, which got a complete overhaul two years ago. But seeing the students again, walking down those halls again, it felt like I had never left.

It was truly a homecoming.

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

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.

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

6 Oct

The Village of Webster is hosting its third Family Game Night/Beer Garden on Saturday Oct. 16, and this one will be extra fun — it’s going to be an Oktoberfest, complete with a top-notch Oktoberfest band, the Krazy Firemen.

Activities start at 5 p.m. with lots of street games, food and drink. Dancing with Denise will be on hand to get the whole family up and dancing, there’ll be crafts for the kids and lots more. The Krazy Firemen will provide live music from 5 to 8 p.m.

This is a great chance to gather with friends and neighbors in a family atmosphere with something for all ages.


The Friends of the Public Library’s Fall Book Sale is returning next week.

This is one of the library’s biggest book sales, held over three days, Oct. 14 through 16. Not only will there be TONS of books to choose from, the Friends will have two special raffles to celebrate the return of this bigger book sale: one for a gorgeous handmade quilt and another for a pink Apple Watch SE. Tickets will be $5.

Click on the flyer for details about hours and specials.

Shoppers are asked to follow CDC guidelines while at the library sale, including masks and social distancing.


You definitely want to get your flu shot during these Covid times, and here’s an easy way to do it.

The Webster Public Library is hosting a flu shot clinic on Thursday 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!


The biannual Webster community blood drive returns next week.

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.

Appointments for this drive usually fill up pretty quickly, in large part because this is the Bruster’s drive; every presenting donor will get a coupon for a free ice cream cone at Bruster’s. Every donor will also get a $5 Amazon e-gift card.

Appointments are required to assure social distancing, so Click here to set one up, or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).


You’ll also want to mark your calendars for Oct. 16, when Webster’s very own Rochester Challenger Miracle Field will be featured in a half-hour program on Channel 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The special, which will feature highlights of Miracle Field, their programs, and many of the players and families, will double as a fundraiser. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event.  

* * *

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

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.