Local venues host first major events since beginning of COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

Two major Erie venues are back open after the pandemic shut them down for the past year.

The Erie Insurance Arena and the Bayfront Convention Center are still following strict CDC guidelines and are limiting the amount of people that can attend. However, the idea of getting back to normal has many people excited.

Mark Weiss’s daughter is a member of the Mercyhurst Women’s Hockey Team. He says it’s great to be able to see her back on the ice.

“I missed it. I have wanted to watch her. We basically have never missed a game, even with her first year here. This year has been tough, this is our first game and we have got to watch her play.” Weiss said.

Weiss says he misses going to concerts, movies, eating out and seeing friends.

“I cannot wait until we get back to normal, getting our shots, getting our vaccines, and getting back to doing a lot of things that we have missed.” Weiss said.

The Bayfront Convention Center kicked off the RV and Sport Expo on Friday. It’s the first major event in a year for the venue. Some residents say they are glad just to see the doors open.

“Too many small businesses have gone under, even the large businesses are starting to hurt right now. We are happy to see something going on down here.” said Mark Clausen.

“It’s nice just to get out and see the RVs again. This is something that I like to do every year, so it’s nice to see that they put it on.” said Justin, an Erie resident.

Wattsburg resident Troy Zaumseil said it’s nice to finally be able to mingle with people.

“My wife’s father who is in his 70s, been cooped up in the house, what’s the last thing he is going to see? the four walls inside of his trailer? Or out seeing people and enjoying the public and enjoying friends.” Zaumseil said.

For the RV and Sport Expo, tickets have to be purchased in advance and only one family is allowed in an RV at once. At the Erie Insurance Arena, the hockey tournament is not open to the public as only family and some supporters are permitted.

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