Erie summer excites students

While most Gannon University students rush home in the summer, those remaining in Erie seem to agree it’s far less dreary in those lazy, hazy, crazy days.

Alexandra Murray, a sophomore physician assistant major, said she concurs. “It’s one of the best places in the summer,” she said. “I have a friend who worked down here in the summer and he said he has a newfound appreciation for Erie.”

Murray said she enjoys the variety of cheap and free events offered. She includes Celebrate Erie on this list, because she said there is so much to look at, do and eat at the event.

 One of her favorite aspects of the Erie festival is Chalk Walk, she said. During Chalk Walk, officials mark off a piece of downtown Erie pavement and chalk artists spend two or three hours making intricate designs on the cement.

“I remember some of my high school friends participated in it year after year,” Murray said. She said one of her favorite designs – that she can remember – was of the Brig Niagara.

Junior education major Charlie Dolnosich said Celebrate Erie is great for food and fun with friends. “All my buddies go,” he said. “It’s more of a social event than the others.”

But Dolnosich said his favorite Erie hang out is the beach. “I like to tan and throw around a footfootball,” he said when asked his favorite things to do at Presque Isle.

Murray and junior physical therapy major Shannon Zoltowski said they also make their way down Peninsula Drive to frequent the beach.

Murray said she likes to take long walks around the peninsula, play beach volleyball and always makes a stop at Sara’s.

“I’ll go there at 4 and that will be my dinner, because the food is so filling,” she said of the food and ice cream joint. Her favorite thing on the Sara’s menu is the black raspberry shake, she said.

Zoltowski said she likes the peninsula’s beach concerts. “They are always at sunset,” she said. “When it’s dark, it’s pretty.”

She said she also goes to 8 Great Tuesdays with her family to enjoy good and free music.

“We get there super early,” she said. “We get Theresa’s Deli and sit outside before the concerts.”

Key West Fest, Erie Block Parties and Roar on the Shore are other music events she said she checks out in the summer. 

Zoltowski recommends Rib Fest to those who think the delighted rumbles of a full stomach are more music to the ears than actual tunes.

Pulled pork is her food of choice at the fest. She said she enjoys the yearly competition between vendors to see who can produce the best stretched piggy around – and that’s the reason it’s so delicious.

Baseball is as essential to summer for many as the beach and outdoor concerts.

Zoltowski said fans of America’s favorite pastime should attend an Erie SeaWolves game.

“My family and I go every week,” she said.

Murray recommends the SeaWolves Buck Night because she said it provides a way to have fun on a Monday at low cost.

Whether these students prefer hanging out at the beach, a baseball game or a festival, all agree that Erie’s not such a mistake on the lake during the summer. 

Dolnosich said he thinks Erie summers might surprise those who aren’t Bayfront believers.

“It’s a great experience,” he said. “I wish more college students stayed and found out what Erie has to offer.”


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