Summer events and festivals return to Erie with some modifications

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Summer events are returning to Erie County. Some of these events are still modified to be drive thru or take out festivals, while others are returning in full force.

Here is more about how organizers are managing the return to a more normal Erie summer.

It’s the first night of Cherry Fest in North East, which is a drive thru event again this year.

Organizers said that in order to continue to fundraise, they stuck with a plan they knew they could pull off.

It’s a North East tradition that continues to be modified this year.

Cherry Fest is a drive-thru event this year because there was not enough time to schedule the large scale festival.

“Surrounding counties around us canceled their ride company and we use the same one, and for them to come up for one individual event is not profitable for them as well,” said Matthew Russo, Cherry Festival Co-Chairman.

Russo said that despite these challenges, fundraising for the North East Fire Department is still necessary.

“We gotta have funds. It takes real rubber tires on those fire trucks. It takes real diesel fuel. It takes real training,” said Russo.

One customer said that he returns to Cherry Fest each year no matter the capacity to support the fire department.

“Born and raised in North East my whole life and we support this thing all we can you know what I mean? Because these firemen they don’t get what they really deserve,” said Bill Reich, Supporting Cherry Fest.

Another event that returned to Erie is Eight Great Tuesday’s. Some spectators said that between concerts and festivals, this summer is starting to feel more normal.

“Great for morale, good for your heart, good for the soul. So it’s good to be with friends and family and the public,” said Chris Duska, Attending Eight Great Tuesday’s.

“I’m glad the Port Authority I mean this is almost exactly like it was two years ago, and I’m sorry the Cherry Fest is a little slimmed down this year, but at least they’re having something,” said Brian Duska, Attending Eight Great Tuesday’s.

Officials from the Port Authority said after a year break, they were able to pull Eight Great Tuesday’s off.

“We’re very fortunate that this is really our twenty second year of doing it. So having all of that experience really allowed us to pill the event together,” said Brenda Sandberg, Executive Director of the Erie Port Authority.

The North East Cherry Festival will continue this week through Saturday July 17th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Despite some rain, many people came out to support the festival and enjoy live music once again at Eight Great Tuesday’s.

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