Tag Archives: Parade of Lights

White Christmas is now “Webster’s Winter Wonderland”

10 Nov

The Village of Webster’s White Christmas celebration is taking on a new name and a new ’round-the-world theme this year.

The day-long event, scheduled for Saturday Dec. 3, has been re-christened “Webster’s Winter Wonderland.” The Webster Business Improvement District (BID), which organizes the festival every year, has been working hard with the Webster CSD and the Webster PTSA to add a multicultural flavor to the very popular annual event.

All of the best parts of White Christmas are still planned, including Santa, festival wagon rides, carolers, the bell choir, and of course, the Parade of Lights. Veterans Memorial Park will once again be transformed into Santa’s Workshop with cookies, hot cocoa, storytime, crafts, and the jolly old elf himself visiting with children at the gazebo.

The exciting new twist on the festival, the ’round-the-world activities, will take place on East and West Main streets, which will be closed for the afternoon and evening. The BID is inviting our local business owners to each represent a different country and set up displays (either inside our outside) highlighting their chosen country’s winter holiday traditions. The displays might just be informational, or they might include crafts, take-away items, and even ethnic cuisine.

Several businesses have signed up already. For example, Mozzeroni’s Pizza will be representing Italy, Barry’s Old School Irish has chosen (you guessed it) Ireland, and Finn’s Garage will be showcasing Japan.

Details are still being hammered out, so stay tuned for those. But definitely put this on your calendar right now, because it’s going to be one of the best festivals of the Webster year.

Webster’s Winter Wonderland will take place on Saturday Dec. 3 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in the Village of Webster. The incredible Parade of Lights, hosted by the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept. (thank you WVFD!) begins at 6:30 p.m.

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(posted 11/10/2022)

Check out Santa’s new home at White Christmas

1 Dec

I do hope Santa will be packing some longjohns when he visits Webster this Saturday afternoon for White Christmas, because it will definitely be cold — although not as snowy as he’s used to at the North Pole.

He’s going to need those thermal undergarments when he settles into his Santa chair, which for the first time will be set up in the gazebo at Veterans Memorial Park. The park will be transformed into Santa’s beloved North Pole, complete with twinkly lights, lots of holiday decorations and plenty of elves.

Mrs. Claus will be there, too, as Santa welcomes good little boys and girls to visit him from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Make sure they bring their wish lists, which can be handed right to Santa or deposited in his personal mailbox.

Following your visit with Santa, there’ll be plenty to do, beginning right at 3 p.m., including:

  • caroling
  • Toy Land, where visitors are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys
  • storytime with Jason Poole from the Webster Public Library at Yesterday’s Muse 5 p.m.
  • cookie decorating
  • carriage rides through the village
  • hot cocoa
  • a candy cane scavenger hunt
  • Festival of Trees voting at the Webster Museum
  • live music at the Webster Museum from 3 to 4:30
  • special events and treats at the Harmony House
  • free 20-minute infrared sauna sessions at ROC &Soul Fitness from 3 to 6 p.m. (Click here to register)
  • great shopping at our small businesses
  • the Parade of Lights begins at 6:30 p.m. and travels west from Kircher Park down Main Street to Pierce St.

There’s more stuff, too, but basically it’s going to be a really fun time for the whole family. And I’ll be out there taking my hundreds of photos, as always.

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The holidays in Webster Village: beer, shopping, Santa and a parade!

18 Nov

It’s getting cold out, but the holiday season in Webster is heating up, with a cool NEW event and some great improvements on an old favorite.

For starters, the village’s brand new “Hops and Stops” beer tasting event invites participants to not only enjoy some great craft brews, while also visiting many of our small businesses for some early Christmas shopping.

Hops and Stops will be Saturday Nov. 27 (not coincidentally Small Business Saturday). Glass pickup is at Finns Automotive, 44 East Main St, beginning at 2:45 p.m. Cost is $20 (tickets here). Please bring proper ID and you can’t pick up anyone else’s glass since they’ll also need to show an ID.

The beer walk itself runs from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be craft beer at some stops and food at others. These businesses will be participating:

  • Bernardi & Co. CPA
  • Webster Interiors
  • Woodland Silkscreen and Embroidery
  • OHHH, LORDEE! Everything Sauce
  • Village Vape or Smoke
  • The Modified Collective
  • Carl’s Pizza Kitchen
  • Crafty Christy’s Boutique
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • The Coach
  • BC’s Chicken Coop
  • The Cobblestone on Main
  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Lattimore Physical Therapy
  • Filling Station Pub & Grill

Kudos to the Webster BID for coming up with this great idea to get people out and shopping on Small Business Saturday!

Click here for more information and to get tickets.

White Christmas is Back!

Last year’s “reverse” Holiday Parade of Lights was fun, but I think everyone is excited to know that the REAL Parade of Lights will be returning the evening of Saturday Dec. 4. The parade is the highlight of a whole afternoon of holiday entertainment and activities planned during the Village of Webster’s White Christmas celebration.

This year’s event will feature something really fun: the gazebo in Veterans Park will be transformed into the North Pole for the day, complete with twinkling lights, elves, candy canes and much more. Santa will be there to greet the kids from 3 to 5 p.m. Kids can bring their letters and give them right to Santa or deposit them in his North Pole mailbox.

The Parade of Lights will begin at 6:30 p.m., winding its way from Phillips Rd. west down Main Street.

All of your White Christmas favorites will also be back this year, including carriage rides, hot cocoa, cookie decorating, storytime with Jason Poole from the Webster Public Library, caroling, and much more, including a “Toy Land,” for which everyone is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.

Put this one on your calendar, folks. (Maybe we’ll actually get some snow this year.)

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Webster community mailbag

17 Nov

I’ve got an important update from the PTSA/One Webster team that’s working on a float for this year’s Holiday Parade of Lights.

They need lights for the float!

They’ve actually been getting a good response from people interested in helping create Santa’s Workshop and who want to help build the float (read more about those opportunities in this blog here) but they desperately need lights for the float. After all, it is the Holiday PARADE OF LIGHTS.

They’ve made it very easy to contribute to the effort. Click this link here to order the lights directly (there are several price options) or donate any amount.

Speaking of fun events, I’ve heard from the organizers of the annual Greater Rochester Peep Show.

This show, which usually takes over much of the Webster Recreation Center in early April, had to go virtual these last few years. Now that it looks like the 2022 Peep Show might be a little more normal, they’re already ramping up to make it the best ever.

They’e currently looking artists to create a poster (rules are posted on the Peep Show website) and prizes will be awareded: $100 for first place, $50 for second place. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 25. They’re also looking for sponsors, vendors, and community groups or entertainers who would like to present demos at the show. Come January, they’ll start asking for volunteers.

As for all you Peep Show display makers, get to the drawing board and start planning your incredible displays. April will be here before we know it!

For more information about the 2022 Greater Rochester Peep Show, click here.

Get your books here, folks!

Now here’s a great chance to pick up some perfect holiday gifts for the reader in your family, and not drop a lot of dough.

The Friends of the Webster Public Library will be holding their Winter Holiday Book Sale beginning Saturday Nov. 20.

Winter and end-of-the-year holiday season books (hardcover, fiction and nonfiction) will be featured at this sale, including music CDs, DVD movies and Blu-Rays for children and adults. And everything is priced between 50 cents and $2.

The sale will run for several weeks (or until the books run out) during regular holiday hours.

Purchases may be made at the circulation desk. All monies raised will go to support library programs and initiatives.

In this month’s History Bit from the Webster Museum, a message of thanks.

NYA-WEH is “thanks” in the Seneca language. If we struggle to find things to be thankful for this year, we would do well to consult the Thanksgiving address of any of our native people, the Haudenosaunee.

A thousand years old, the words are still spoken before and after ceremonial and governmental gatherings. The speakers’ language and words may vary, but the message is the same: we must name and thank everything in the natural world that sustains us.
The address includes the people, the earth, the waters, the plants, the animals, the sun, moon and stars and the creator they believe to be responsible for all these gifts.

Each gift is named and thanked and honored by the refrain “now our minds are one.“ Consensus on gratitude!

The Webster Museum’s permanent Seneca exhibit now includes objects identified in the Seneca language.

The museum is open for your enjoyment (and maybe some new vocabulary…) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m.. Nya-weh for visiting!

By the way, I did mention above that Webster’s White Christmas in the Village will be back this year, It returns Saturday Dec. 4, complete with the Parade of Lights in the evening.

A more complete blog will follow shortly!

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Parade of Lights recap (photos and video!)

6 Dec

Click these links for more photos:

I’ve also posted several videos at the end of this blog.

The Village of Webster tried something new last night: a reimagined Holiday Parade of Lights to replace the very popular parade which winds down Main Street during the village’s White Christmas celebration every (non-COVID) year.

It most respects, it was very successful. Most would say too successful, actually.

While organizers expected only 4,100 cars to weave through the 1/2-mile long “parade,” many more unexpectedly showed up, creating very long wait times.

It was an unfortunate and aggravating situation for everyone, to be sure. But those who endured the invonvenience were rewarded with a magical and spectacular display courtesy more than 50 first responder agencies, community groups and local businesses who came out in force and endured the weather, their bodies and vehicles covered in twinkling lights.

People waiting their turn in the staging parking lot might have been grumpy, but when they saw what awaited them in the main lot, their frowns disappeared.

What I saw during my time there were kids and parents beaming, leaning out the windows waving back at the exhibitors. One girl yelled “This is AMAZING!” As they finally came to the end of the parade, the children positively exploded with delight upon seeing Santa wishing them a “Merry Christmas,” and many parents took the time to honk their horns, show a thumbs-up or yell “thank you!”

There’s been a lot of grousing on various social networks by families disappointed with the event. The criticisms are legitimate. But I’m sure the organizers and exhibitors would love to hear from folks who enjoyed themselves, despite the aggravations. These are people who spent hundreds of hours pulling together miriad details to create a much-needed holiday event, some of whom were outside in the cold and rain and snow for more than 12 hours.

So I would ask that comments here be positive and supportive. Because despite everything, The Holiday Parade of Lights gave everyone who waited in those long lines one magical night when we could forget about COVID and life seemed a little bit more normal.

Here are some videos from the event:

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Own a business? Join Webster’s Holiday Parade of Lights!

18 Nov

Have you heard about this year’s reimagined Parade of Lights, happening Saturday Dec. 5?

This very popular event, always the highlight of the Village of Webster’s White Christmas, was cancelled because of COVID restrictions. But it’s back — albeit a little different.  

Normally, fire trucks, community and business floats, and marching bands, all covered in twinkling holiday lights, parade down Main St. past thousands of spectators. This year, the trucks and floats will be stationary, and spectators will drive past them, enjoying the lights and music from the safety and warmth of their own cars.  

More than 1,500 cars have already registered to drive through and enjoy the display. Now it’s time for more businesses and community agencies to jump on board. 

As an exhibitor, you’ll be assigned a spot where you can park your vehicle for the entire parade, where upwards of 2,000 cars will drive past to see your holiday lights display and business information. (At an average of four people per car, that’s 8,000 people.) Plus, every participating business can provide marketing material for a VIP goodie bag which will be safely handed out to spectator vehicles as they enter the parade route. 

This is an outstanding opportunity to reach out to thousands of new and existing customers, and remind everyone that you’re still in business. So get registered, grab some holiday lights, and plan to have some fun! 

The Village of Webster Holiday Parade of Lights is scheduled for Saturday Dec. 5 from 3 to 8 p.m. on San Jose Dr. rain or shine. Participation is free, but you’ll need to register so organizers know how many vehicles to expect. For more information and to register, email 2020websterparadeoflights@neqals.orgRegistration is required by Nov. 25. 

You can also find more information about the event at the 2020 Webster Parade of Lights Facebook page.

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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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