In previous years many City of Erie Governments have received sponsor passes for CelebrateErie.

However, some city council members are saying that they did not receive them this year.

According to council members, they were not on the list to receive sponsor passes for CelebrateErie this past weekend.

Several council members said that this isn’t an irregularity and are wondering why there was a change.

One council member said that while he is not sure what happened, he hopes the city’s administration sees council as their partner.

“We are a separate but equal branch of the government. We spend our time being ambassadors to Erie, and to be left out of Erie’s biggest celebration was just wasn’t a good feeling,” said Michael Keys, City Council Member at City of Erie.

Councilman Keys said that he believes city leaders should have access to city run events.

The city has released the following statement:

“The Sponsor Reception at the Erie Art Museum is for sponsors of CelebrateErie, without whom CelebrateErie would not be possible. Based on the level a sponsor donates, they receive a certain number of credentialing passes to distribute. It is because of those donations that the City and CelebrateErie were able to play host to X Ambassadors, Mya, Ja Rule, and Jimmie Allen and provide that experience to residents for free,” said Renee Lamis, Chief of Staff for Mayor Schember and President of Cultures, Arts, Festivals, and Events of Erie (CAFE), a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting the City of Erie’s vision. In the past, elected officials and City staff had been invited to the Museum. However, we developed capacity issues in 2019 as the number of sponsors has grown, and the seating on the museum steps has remained finite. As a result, it was determined in 2019 that the number of credentials needed to be reduced to be more manageable and that, to do so, the invitations would have to be limited to sponsors. Due to COVID in 2020 and 2021, this is the first year we have held the event since 2019 so this was the first year in which the change was implemented. This year and moving forward, in order to ensure that the sponsor reception can continue, it must be limited to sponsors of the event.”