City officials say Downtown D’Lights on Friday, December 7th, will be bigger and brighter than ever before.
Organizers say the event isn’t just about lights and decorations; it’s about bringing people together. One string of lights at a time, crews are transforming Perry Square into a festive, holiday destination; all in preparation for the annual Downtown D’Lights.
Erie Mayor Joe Schember tells us, “One of our vision statements is we want to create a world-class downtown and bayfront, where people want to live, work and play and this is the ‘play’ part of it, drawing people down and experiencing the downtown. It’s very exciting.”
But, this year the event is coming back with a bright, new identity. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will stand alongside Mayor Schember to officially light up the park at 6:05. Then, at 6:15, the city’s first 35-foot community holiday tree will also be lit in a special ceremony, adding up to more than 10,000 lights total.
John Buchna of the Erie Downtown Partnership says, “There are different struggles in life but overall, it’s an opportunity just to join as a community, to share friendship, to share conversation, and just enjoy being a part of Erie.”
City officials say one enhancement they’re most excited for is bringing the first ‘Holiday Village’ to Perry Square.
Bill Matrogran, Erie Insurance Construction Management, says, “The holiday village is a concept that was created to bring more to the park to have an additional attraction to get people not just for the light up of Downtown D’Lights but also for the additional weeks into the holiday season.”
It takes a team effort from the Downtown Partnership, Erie Downtown Development Corporation, The Perry Square Alliance and other organizations to make this event possible. It’s a collaboration organizers say is just an example of a little holiday magic.
Again, Downtown D’Lights will be on December 7th. We will be here live on that night and will broadcast the light-up festivities. The Holiday Village will first open that night, as well, then again on the 14th and 21st.