Erie’s Bayfront was alive and well on Memorial Day as people of all ages and from all over the region came out to celebrate the last night of the holiday weekend.

As Memorial Day weekend came to a close, the last of those hoping to celebrate headed to the Bayfront to make the most of the night.

But despite the laughter and fun, the reason for the holiday was not forgotten.

It’s the unofficial start to summer and with a beautiful Memorial Day weekend having come and gone, those at Erie’s Bayfront wouldn’t let the fun die down so easily.

Guests at Oliver’s Beer Garden visiting from out of town were amazed by how much Erie’s waterfront has been developed.

“Who would think that Erie, Pennsylvania would have a nice veranda like this. It’s just absolutely great,” said Ron Kober, guest, Oliver’s Beer Garden. “Thank you Erie, Pennsylvania, you’re moving up!”

But regardless of all of the fun people were having, the true meaning of Memorial Day wasn’t forgotten. 

“The big thing to remember as we celebrate down here on this beautiful Erie day is all of the folks that suffered the ultimate price for us so that we could be here,” said Tom Omark, guest, Oliver’s Beer Garden.

One veteran who served in the U.S. Army echoed that sentiment.

“I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia from ’94 to ’96. I was 11 Bravo. I never got to see actual time overseas, but I know a lot of guys that did, and a lot of guys that didn’t make it back,” said John Laub, veteran.

Laub says Memorial Day can be solemn at times, but added that seeing people celebrate the freedoms that those who have fallen have given us through their sacrifice shows how fortunate we really are.

“It’s just good to see people come out with the flags on their cars, with everybody wearing their patriotic gear, and just celebrating our wonderful military and our service members that gave everything they had for our freedoms. It’s a beautiful night and this is just proof of what a great country we have and the men and women that have served and gave us this freedom,” said Laub.