Amy Achs, AP Erie Correspondent
Revitalize Erie’s (RE) original goals, set about four years ago, were aimed at making Erie a great place to own a business, visit, and live. Along those lines, it is organized into three main committees: events, beautification, and economic development. Now that RE has been around for a few years, it’s developed some traditions that have become popular that they would like to continue along with some new additions in an effort to keep meeting the needs of the community.
Originally, Revitalize Erie had goals to see, on the beautification-side, an “elegantly restored downtown, well cared for residential areas, lovely parks, and attractive streetscaping throughout the village”. As far as the economic development of Erie, RE would like to see that “businesses are assisted in starting up, expanding, or relocating to the community with a variety of programs”. The events committee had a goal to “always have something to do in Erie” and to be ready to “enjoy a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor festivals, events and activities year-round”.
Visibly in 2021, the community could see Revitalize Erie’s touch in many areas such as the flower boxes that are changed out with the seasons, the village triangle bustling at Easter, Memorial Day, the Street Fest in summer, Halloween, and Christmas. There were garage sales coordinated and a fun trivia night as well. Behind the scenes businesses are being contacted, a TIF District investigated, and grant searches made for a splash pad and building restorations, among other things.
So, four-years later, RE can say they are well on their way to achieving their goals, but there is still a lot of work that could be done. Looking forward, Revitalize Erie has even bigger goals for 2022, and they need the community’s help. Volunteers are needed for the work to continue. The more members of the community that participate in the planning and running of events and projects, the more that can be accomplished. RE has grown, but the number of people involved with the different committees has not. There are so many ways to get involved, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of your time. Invite friends or family members to make volunteering fun.
For the Beautification Committee, they are going to continue the flower box decorations, but the biggest and most visible plans include at least one mural for the triangle with another possibility being considered. There will be other projects with the goal of the best-looking downtown area for the Sesquicentennial celebrations.
For the Events Committee, the traditional celebrations are still planned:
- Card night – March
- Easter – April
- Memorial Day Picnic – May 28th
- Garage sale – early June
- 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration – August 13th
- Pumpkin Bash – Oct 29th
- Trivia Night – early November
- Hometown Holiday – December 3rd
One of the huge projects for the Village of Erie is the celebration of its 150th birthday. The centennial celebration was a huge multi-event affair in 1972 involving the whole community. There is a Sesquicentennial planning meeting Tuesday, January 24th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Village Hall.
So far, the Village Board, Revitalize Erie, and The Erie Historical Society have committed to helping plan a summer full of events leading up to the sesquicentennial Celebration such as live music weekends.
Some of the events planned for the sesquicentennial on August 13th include a a pie baking contest, an artisan/crafts fair, a pie eating contest, local memorabilia and antique displays, live music, and more.
Feedback from the community is needed: What do people want to see? How do you want to celebrate? Suggestions are welcome, and if you want to help with any part of the process, please attend the meeting in January.