If you’re in Erie, PA this summer, chances are, you won’t want to be indoors — especially with Great Lake Erie in your backyard; Named Best Freshwater Beach — Reader’s Choice 2016. Fortunately, there’s plenty of free things to do in Erie that provide you with sun-soaked entertainment without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for fun things to do on your Lake Erie Vacation or are an Erie resident seeking events to add to your calendar during summer months, these events will keep you happy and busy.
UPMC Sunset Music Series
This summer, visitors can sway to the beat of six live concerts against a Lake Erie sunset backdrop. The concerts take place at Presque Isle, and while music is the focal point, it’s not all there is to do. Thanks to the aid of PISP lifeguards, you can swim instead of dance (or both if you’re feeling the rhythm!), participate in raffle ticket drawings, practice your hip movements with some Hula-Hoop workshops, and eat at a variety of Erie-staple food trucks. The entire experience is wheelchair accessible, and bound to create some memorable moments.
8 Great Tuesdays
Hosted at the Amphitheater at Liberty Park, 8 Great Tuesdays are a succession of summer shows by awesome bands you know and love, or could learn to love by the end of the evening. Similar to Sunset Music Series, this free community concert series is the perfect place for dancing as the sun sets over Lake Erie. A little more on the low-key side than its Wednesday music partner, it provides the balance Erie visitors and residents need. For those who can partake in both event festivities, your summer will be jampacked with great music, delicious food, and breathtaking sunsets. Check out the 8 Great Tuesdays Facebook page for more information.
Erie Downtown Block Parties
There’s nothing like a great block party in the summer, and fortunately, Erie offers quite a few. Each block party has enough entertainment, food, and fun to keep you busy for the day, and ready to come back for more. Live music from a variety of musicians takes place at every event, and block party proceeds go to the Care About Revitalizing Erie (CARE) fund to continue making the city even better.
Celebrate Erie is a four-day summer festival that takes place in Downtown Erie in August. This is a celebration of all things local, from local artists to local musicians. And there’s no shortage of things to do here: visitors are granted free access to local art museums, entertainment, and a variety of street vendors. The area is divided into several “zones” to make it easier for visitors to pick and navigate their activities of choice, from the “Taste of Erie” zone to the “Kids Construction” zone.
So get your planner, start marking dates, and hold the credit card — with so many free things to do in Erie, you’re bound to have a jam-packed summer and plenty of pictures and savings to prove it. If Erie doesn’t already have your heart, it will by September.
Discover Presque Isle
No matter what your interests are, Presque Isle State Park doesn’t disappoint. The park is home to a chockful of summer activities where visitors can swim, camp, trek a 13.5-mile multipurpose trail, or simply sit back and relax. The Isle is also home to several open-air concerts, so don’t be surprised to find yourself at this sweet spot more than once over the summer.