Downtown d'Lights 2023!

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  • We're super excited for the return of our marquee holiday event, Downtown d'Lights!
  • Presented by UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Hamot, Downtown d'Lights will take place in Perry Square in Downtown Erie on Friday, December 1 and feature the lighting of our beautiful park decorations and Downtown Holiday Tree!
  • The event will begin at 5:00 with holiday music on the stage from DJ Bill Page and the opening of the Holiday Village shops featuring Glass Growers Gallery, Erie Ale Works, Sundae Vegan Desserts, and Luminary Distilling.
  • This year, Glass Growers Gallery is offering the second annual commemorative Downtown d’Lights ornament in their shed, a collaboration with local glass artist Baker-Hart Studio. The official Downtown d’Lights ornament is sponsored this year by ornament sponsor Metz Corporation so thank you to Metz for your generous support!
  • Also starting at 5:00 we will have free EMTA shuttle rides to Perry Square from Gridley Park in the West Bayfront neighborhood, an EUMA hat and coat drive in Perry Square, the seasonal opening of the Downtown Erie community skating rink, free hot cocoa from the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, and the opening of the Santa Letter writing booth from Make A Wish. Local sponsor Rebich Investments will be donating $1 for every letter to Santa received in the Erie Regional Office for Make-A-Wish up to $7,500 so make sure you write a letter to Santa at the event and put it into the Santa mailbox in Perry Square. There are plenty more opportunities throughout the season to contribute to the letter writing campaign. Watch our social media and Erie Make A Wish social media for the locations of other Santa letter-writing stations right up until the holidays. We will also welcome our friends from the Burleigh Legacy Alliance for a short performance on the stage celebrating the music of Harry T Burleigh.
  • Around 6:00 we’ll welcome Santa to the park with the Mayor and United Way Community School students for the lighting of the tree! The tree and park lighting in Perry Square this year are presented this year by The Plastek Group in honor of the CEO Doug Prischak’s late father and company founder Joseph Prischak. Thank you to Plastek for their generous support this season.
  • After the lighting, the Santa Experience on the Perry Square Stage presented by Copper Carriage will start around 6:20, a line will form around the stage so that kids can tell Santa what they would like for Christmas and get a free framed photo with Santa. Horse carriage rides around Perry Square with John May Farms will start around 6:20.
  • At the HANDS Boston Store, WQLN is Presenting Be My Neighbor Day with Daniel Tiger from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Be My Neighbor Day will take place in the Boston Store from 6:30-7:45 p.m. and will include a free STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math) kit which will have take-home activities and crafts centered around learning for children.
  • Children at the event will also go home with a free children’s book from Werner Books & Coffee called “Daniel Plays in the Snow” featuring the beloved children’s character Daniel Tiger.
  • Some other cool events Downtown that night:
    Live reindeer at the Children’s Museum down the street on French and 4th Streets.
    There will be an Open House at First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant featuring a decorated sanctuary with ten large, handcrafted nativity scenes created by Dr. Michael DeSanctis, live pipe organ, and the Strong Vincent Middle School Chorus. There will also be a live nativity scene outside with LIVE animals for petting! All FREE and located less than 2 blocks west of Perry Square! FREE parking for Downtown D’Lights is available in the church parking lot.
    There will be Entertainment and specials at Flagship City Food Hall
    Ye Ole Sweet Shoppe open late until 8 pm selling goodies, coffee, and cocoa
    The Erie Art Museum is free and open to the public ALL DAY, sponsored by UPMC Health Plan and will have extended hours until 7 pm and a drop-in, all ages, wintery holiday craft area available from 5 – 7 pm.
    Gannon University is hosting Light Up AJ's Way in conjunction with Erie Downtown D'lights. Gannon will have crafts and s'mores from 5-6:30 pm.
    The Flagship City District Shops will be open with specials and sales all night.