Bringing Inclusivity and Engagement to Downtown Erie
The Erie Downtown Partnership offers the area more summer events than ever before
If you've driven through Downtown Erie recently, the crowds forming in Perry Square are no coincidence. The Erie Downtown Partnership organized more events for this summer than ever before. From daily activities to monthly series, these events all serve the same purpose: to bring life back to downtown.
"Our events this year are really meant to drive people downtown and safely build back that density so that people can discover Downtown Erie again," said EDP events coordinator David Tamulonis.
Many of the events introduced this year were planned for last summer, but were delayed due to the pandemic. The EDP's mission has always been to make Downtown Erie safe, fun and welcoming. However, they're now taking even extra care to bring the community together through new summer offerings.
"The events we've shifted our focus towards are meant to improve the inclusivity of downtown and to improve the engagement of people that come down," said Tamulonis.
All of the events can be found on the EDP website calendar. But here is a breakdown of what you can expect to see this summer down in Perry Square.
Every Sunday from now until Oct. 17, a farmers market featuring local vendors is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, there is live music on the park stage from noon to 1 p.m. as part of the Farmers Market Concert Series. These relaxing Sundays are followed by Kids Storytime Mondays where every week kids of all ages can gather for stories in the park. Story times are 11 a.m to noon through Sept. 27.
For all of you fitness enthusiasts, Tuesdays are your day. EDP's Time Out Tuesdays offer games from bean bag toss to volleyball to leisurely enjoy with friends from 6 to 10 p.m. Or join licensed fitness instructor Kaitlyn Falk for an hour-long conditioning-style workout around downtown Erie. Groups meet at the Perry Square Stage and are open to everyone with the choice of difficulty level.
If this doesn't appeal to you, consider attending Wellness Wednesdays and zen out with a sunrise or sunset yoga class. Morning classes are from 6 to 7 a.m. at Dobbins Landing while evening classes take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in Perry Square. Both sessions will continue through Sept. 29. Finish off your workweek by picnicking in the park with live music on Fridays. Lunchtime Music on the Stage lasts from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and runs through the last Friday in September.
Aside from weekly activities, look out for monthly events. Monday Movies in Perry Square will take place on the last Monday of each month from now through September. The EDP partnered with the Film Society of Northwest Pennsylvania to present movies such as 42 and West Side Story. Movies begin at dark with trivia and the chance to win prizes taking place beforehand.
To music lovers, The Back to the Music Concert Series runs every fourth Thursday of the month 7 to 10 p.m. The first of five concerts in the series took place this past Thursday where people gathered in the park for chill music alongside local vendors.
Also on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. is a monthly lecture series named Listen to your Neighbors. The EDP is partnering with Opened Eyes for a community presentation and discussion on systemic racism in the Erie region and beyond. This series is meant as a way for speakers to share their experiences and encourage empathetic listening.
The first Friday of every month residents are encouraged to shop, eat and drink locally. Participating in 1650 Fridays gives you the chance to win a $50 Downtown Gift Certificate redeemable at over 60 locations. You can also earn a $10 Downtown Gift Certificate by volunteering to clean up downtown streets. Clean & Green Workdays take place on the last Saturday of the month through September from 9 to 11 a.m.
Since kicking off their events in June, the EDP says they have seen even larger crowds than in 2019.
"It's great for us to see people downtown and great for the businesses and great for the community," said Tamulonis.
For more information, go to eriedowntown.com/events
Morgan Ashlee Grenz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org