What to do in Erie, Pennsylvania before fall begins
It might seem like summer has just begun. But alas, it is already coming to an end. Autumn officially begins on September 22, which means we still have time to attend festivals or fairs and go to the beach. But most Erie County students are heading back to school in the coming weeks, and the unofficial end of summer is seen by most as Labor Day, which is Sept. 5.
We’ve compiled some suggestions for fun ways to spend the remaining sunny days before fall arrives.
Summer 2022 in Erie:Your guide to unforgettable fun, taste and sights
CelebrateErie, Tall Ships Erie
Two of the biggest events downtown and the bay this summer are just around the corner.
CelebrateErie is back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. All festivities, August 19-21, are free and take place downtown around State Street between Fourth and Ninth Streets. The Chalk Walk, music, arts and crafts and performances, children’s activities, free haircuts and more will be part of this year’s festivities. Pop rock group X Ambassadors, hip-hop artists Ja Rule and Mya and rising country music star Jimmie Allen are the musical headliners.
Headliners:Musicians Ja Rule, Mýa, Jimmie Allen and X Ambassadors will perform on the main stage at CelebrateErie
Tall Ships Erie returns for its race every three years and promises to bring seven ships, fan-favorite rubber duckies, a kids’ zone, food trucks, live music and thousands of visitors. It kicks off with the Parade of Sails on August 25, and the festival grounds will be open August 26-28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the foot of State Street, the Erie Maritime Museum, and the Bayfront Convention Center. See Erie’s American Brig Niagara and other majestic ships.
Festival details:What you need to know about Tall Ships Erie 2022 along the lake
2022 Erie Tall Ships:Explore the tall ships coming to this year’s festival
Listen to live bands outdoors
Music fills the air outside during Erie summers with a number of free outdoor shows that are always on.
Series 8 Great Tuesdays wraps up August 23 at the Highmark Amphitheater in Liberty Park on the waterfront with Bruce Springsteen as a tribute to Bruce in the United States.
Programming 2022:Here’s how the 8 Great Tuesdays summer concert series is going
Other series that still have a few dates left include the Whitford Park series in Harborcreek, Thursday in the Park in Corry, Music in the Park in Lake City, and the Gazebo Concerts in Lawrence Park.
In Erie, the Perry Square Concert Series, which runs Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., ends September 8, with the Erie All-Stars scheduled.
Many local establishments also offer live bands that perform outdoors throughout September.
Local talent:Ever-evolving Erie All Stars features some of the area’s top musicians
Coming :Erie area entertainment includes concerts, fairs, festivals and more
Discover crafts, livestock at fairs in the region
Local and departmental fairs are back this year. Some were earlier in August, but the Crawford County Fair begins August 21, while the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg begins August 29. Spartansburg, Waterford and Albion fairs are scheduled to start in September.
Livestock shows, tractor pulls, harness racing, rides, live music and more are on the program, along with all kinds of tasty and fair food.
Find details of area fairs at bit.ly/areafairs.
Season fair:Community fairs in the Erie area run through mid-September. Here’s what you need to know
Visit a park
According to the City of Erie’s 2022 Summer Recreation Guide, there are “45 beautiful parks” in the city. That means there’s plenty for kids and parents to explore, whether it’s on the playground equipment, on the grounds, or just hiking.
And if you’re thinking of more entertainment, Waldameer Park & Water World is open until Labor Day. So be sure to take the last lap on Ravine Flyer II or the last dip in the giant wave pool before Waldameer closes for the season after September 5th.
Pack the car for a drive-in
Head to Waterford’s Sunset Drive In to catch a movie on the big screen outdoors at one of the few remaining drive-ins in the tri-state area. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the first movie beginning at dusk at 808 Route 97. Admission is $9 for adults, while children ages 7-11 are $4 and children 6 and under are free.
The drive-in usually takes place on weekends until the end of September.
And, if you haven’t had a chance to scour your neighborhood for a yard sale this summer, Sunset Drive In also offers a Sunday flea market from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., open until late September or early October. Admission is 50 cents per person.
Movie magic:What makes Erie County a good place to shoot movies and TV productions?
Erie Area Teen Actor:Here’s What Fairview’s Walker Scobell Told Us About Filming ‘Secret Headquarters’
Endless Possibilities at Almost Isle
The beaches, waterways, structures and trails of Près Isle, including the paved multi-use trail, offer many possibilities. Tom Ridge Environmental Center’s new natural play area is also a family attraction. Whether you want to fish in Misery Bay, sunbathe on the beach, bike, kayak, water ski… well, you get the idea.
Swimming season usually ends on Labor Day. However, depending on the weather and staff, the beaches may be supervised for swimming on other weekends in September.
House on the water:See the interior of a Près Isle houseboat and learn about owner maintenance and weather challenges
Take part in a ball game
The Erie SeaWolves are playing game-winning baseball this season, and there’s always plenty of family fun to be had at UPMC Park at 831 French St. You can check out the remaining fireworks nights (August 19, September 2 and September 9) or plan a visit on any other date of the house with special promotions and freebies.
Visit milb.com/erie or call 814-456-1300 for more information.
His nickname makes you smile:His launcher packs hit. How YaYa Chentouf became a SeaWolves fan favorite
Discover what’s new at the zoo
The Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens has over 400 animals and 11 gardens on its 15 acres. Animal exhibits include Kiboka Outpost, Wild Asia, Safariland, and Children’s Adventure. The updates to the zoo’s main building are part of an improvement project that includes a new primate exhibit and renovations to the American Otter exhibit.
Zoo news:Erie Zoo seeks AZA accreditation back; ongoing renovations
Take a road trip
Take a tour of the Erie area to see the inspiring murals or art installations. You can see artwork outside, including at the Erie Museum of Art at 20 E. Fifth St., or you can admire the many murals on buildings in Erie’s neighborhoods, with new ones painted this summer along safe walking routes to community schools in the city.
Buckle up for a cruise on Route 6 and take in the scenery. The PA Route 6 Public Art & Mural Trail maps all artwork and murals along Pennsylvania’s 427 miles of Route 6/Route 6N in 11 counties.
You can schedule stops on the Lake Erie Wine Route, which includes 85 miles of scenic wineries and vineyards along Lake Erie. You can also cross off breweries on the Lake Erie Ale Trail list while trying local craft beers.
Painting the city:50 new murals will brighten up Erie neighborhoods and create seasonal jobs
Scenic route:Trail reveals murals and public art along Pennsylvania Route 6
Thirsty for wine? :Here is a list of wineries in the Erie region
Dine al fresco or enjoy a sweet treat
There are countless restaurants in the area with outdoor tables, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to adapt with outdoor tables. With a courtyard, patio and rooftop seating, many offer stunning views as you enjoy your meal.
And who doesn’t want to try a local ice cream stand for a cold, creamy treat before summer is over?
To find even more things to do or to present your event to the public for free, check the GoErie Events Calendar frequently. It’s at goerie.com/things-to-do/events.
Outdoor dining:From rooftop to pondside to wraparound porches, your guide to outdoor dining options around Erie
Multiple choice:Visitors have a boatload of new and improved dining choices
Frozen treat:There are many local ice cream shops to choose from in the Erie area