Things to do this summer: Festivals, movie nights, and more (2024)

The Erie Times-News has put together this guide to fun times, sounds, tastes and sights to check out around Erie County and nearby while the weather is warm, no matter if you're a visitor or vacationing in your backyard.

We'll update this article throughout the coming months as details about more summer fun emerge.

Erie need-to-know information

Bookmark these three links for the always updated weather forecast, the very latest calendar of things to do (you can add your own event for free) and the latest news:

  • Severe weather notifications
  • Things to do in Erie
  • News, sports and more from (find the latest subscription deals)

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

Follow on Instagram, Facebook and X.

Trying to get around Erie? What to know about road work

  • Summer schedule for major improvements
  • Temporary lane shift for Bayfront Parkway
  • West Fifth Street reopens in downtown Erie
  • Route 20 work underway in west county
  • Nighttime paving in Summit Township
  • Interstate 90 construction status
  • When will Waterford's covered bridge reopen?

Presque Isle State Park

Make the most of summer at Pennsylvania's most visited state park.

  • What's happening with concessions at Presque Isle in 2024?
  • Meet the bands playing the weekly Sunset Music Series on Beach 11
  • What to know about water quality testing at Presque Isle
  • Keep these emergency numbers handy when you're on the park
  • Everything you need to know about summer 2024 at Presque Isle
  • Visitor guide to Erie's lighthouses
  • Here's what the park staff says about lifeguards this summer
  • Where to rent kayaks for Presque Isle, Bay paddling
  • What's different at the Presque Isle Marina?
  • About those phone service dead zones around the park ...
  • What to know about the lost and found at Presque Isle State Park
  • Presque Isle Express bus route back in service for summer
  • Bucket list: What to do at Presque Isle
  • Big Green Screen finally reopens at Tom Ridge Environmental Center
  • What's up with the limited parking and access at the North Pier?
  • What are those new structures in the Beach 8 parking lot?
  • Get a free ride through the lagoons on a pontoon boat
  • Pip, pip hooray: What to know about piping plovers at Presque Isle

Waldameer Park & Water World

From the picnic groves to the heights of Ravine Flyer II, there's something for every visitor at Waldameer.

  • What you need to know about Waldameer this season
  • Which Waldameer Park rides are the classics? How old some of the attractions turn in 2024
  • Ready to have a cheat day? What food and drinks there are at Waldameer this year
  • What makes Waldameer Park's Ravine Flyer II wooden roller coaster unique?
  • Who helps keep Ravine Flyer II on its tracks? Waldameer ride mechanic describes his job
  • Waldameer Park president shares thoughts about the season
  • Waldameer family member writes series of children's mystery books set at park
  • Waldameer says residents of Village Mobile Home Park have until Oct. 31 to vacate property

Live music

Pack a folding chair and get a front-row seat for live music all over Erie County.

  • When and where to find free outdoor concerts around Erie
  • Gabby Barrett, Jimmy Eat World to perform at CelebrateErie
  • Check out who is performing at Presque Isle's Sunset Music Series
  • REO Speedwagon to pull into Erie's Warner Theatre in July
  • Sexyy Red, Jeezy, Tay Money, Mooski, Rob 49 coming to Erie
  • Erie Jazz and Blues Festivalis making a comeback. See who's featured.
  • Who is performing at 8 Great Tuesdays?
  • When and where Erie-area festivals are happening
  • Catch Erie's First to Eleven on tour this summer


Save your ooohs and aaahs for these nights.

  • When is Lights Over Lake Erie?
  • When and where to find fireworks around Erie County in summer 2024
  • Why Fourth fireworks won't be contained to the Fourth
Things to do this summer: Festivals, movie nights, and more (3)

Where to see movies around Erie

Check out big fun on big screens.

  • Movies under the Erie stars
  • Waterford drive-in one of precious few remaining in U.S.
  • Tom Ridge Environmental Center's Big Green Screen reopens after hiatus

Eat and drink around Erie

There are great places to grab a bite everywhere, and what follows is just some of the reporting the Times-News staff has done recently. Find more openings, tips and news all summer with's dining coverage. Want some ideas for at-home recipes? Sign up for food reporter Jennie Geisler's free weekly Erielicious newsletter.

  • Ice cream near you: Try these dozens of frozen treat shops around Erie County
  • Smiley's Ice Cream to open in former GetGo location at busy Wesleyville intersection
  • Elephant ears, fried foods and new food served at Waldameer
  • 'Gnarly' new food truck is literally on another level near Erie's Bicentennial Tower
  • 'Not just a hot dog' stand, MP Coney Island has more than franks on menu
  • Bro Man's brings in crowd at second burger/taco shop in old George's
  • Federal Hill Smokehouse lands spot on top 100 BBQ joints
  • New bubble tea and noodle place open in former Molly's, drawing crowds
  • Roma's Italian Kitchen is open. What inspired the menu?
  • Erie pizza makers, customers loving brick-oven, wood-fired pies
  • Owners of Pittsburgh Inn celebrate landmark restaurant's centennial
  • Khao Thai owner is back with new restaurant on Peninsula Drive
  • Siblings open Kitchen 601, a soul food restaurant at Brown and Cherry
  • CheesErie owners to expand into new Taco Cabana kitchen in Food Hall
  • Waterford's new barbecue restaurant serves more than a 'pile of meat'
  • 'Evolved' Underdog BBQ open at new location in former Perkins

Erie SeaWolves

Follow Erie's Double-A Detroit Tigers affiliate as they chase major league dreams at UPMC Park and try for a second straight Eastern League championship.

  • SeaWolves clinch a third straight playoff spot with five straight wins
  • Championship celebrations to Fauxback uniforms: What to expect from the SeaWolves
  • Defending Eastern League champion SeaWolves return 19 players from last year's roster
  • More SeaWolves news

So many more things to do around Erie

  • Celebrate Pride Month with Pride on the Bay and other events
  • Everything you need to know about visiting the Erie Zoo
  • Martina McBride, Beach Boys, Boyz II Men, more performing at Chautauqua
  • Get your ticket for the annual Save-an-Eye all-star football game
  • It's thoroughbred racing season at Presque Isle Downs
  • What to know about visiting Erie's lighthouses
  • Visit the renovated ExpERIEnce Children's Museum
  • See what performances are coming to the Erie Playhouse
  • Downtown Erie has an indoor rock climbing gym with a 52-foot-high wall
  • Get free admission to the Erie Art Museum twice a month
  • Go thrifting and for fun, savings and good causes
  • There's mini-golf on Erie's bayfront
  • Try glow golf at J.C. Martin
  • Go roller skating at Gem City Skate
  • 10 scenic views in Erie County that everyone should see
  • Find a garage sale
  • Visit some of the many public art installations around Erie County
  • Rent an e-bike

Find something that makes Erie's summer special? Email your tip to

Things to do this summer: Festivals, movie nights, and more (2024)


What do you do at film festivals? ›

They are just film screenings you buy tickets to, for the most part. Sometimes the actors or directors/creatives are there and they can do an intro or Q&A afterwards, sometimes they're just watching.

What is a good acceptance rate for film festivals? ›

If your short film is solid, realistically expect between a 5-10% acceptance rate. If you submit to 50 festivals, you are likely to get accepted into at least 5 festivals, so try to cast as wide a net as possible.

What exactly happens in a film festival? ›

A film festival is an organized, extended presentation of films in one or more cinemas or screening venues, usually in a single city or region. Increasingly, film festivals show some films outdoors. Films may be of recent date and depending upon the festival's focus, can include International and Domestic releases.

How hard is it to get into a film festival? ›

Even award winning films don't get into most festivals that they apply to, so don't be discouraged if the majority of festivals reject your work – it's just how it goes. But remember that all it takes is one great festival to give you an acceptance letter and it will make the journey worth it.

What do you do in festivals? ›

A festival may include spectator or participatory variations of one or more of the following types of events or activities, among others.
  • Ceremonies –
  • Concerts, music –
  • Competitions –
  • Contests –
  • Dancing events –
  • Meals, eating, and drinking –
  • Parades –
  • Parties –

What are the 5 biggest film festivals? ›

The Big Five film festivals represent the pinnacle of cinematic achievement on a global scale. These illustrious events, namely Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, and Toronto, are universally recognised and draw in a diverse mix of filmmakers, actors, and film enthusiasts from around the world.

Do film festivals pay you? ›

The short answer to the question of how filmmakers make money from film festivals is that they often don't. In fact, in some cases they lose money because they have to pay to submit their films. Not every filmmaker receives a screening fee if his or her film is selected.

What do I wear to a film festival? ›

Screenings: When you are actually watching the films at the festival you are still going to be in a theater. You'll want to be comfortable and fashionable at the same time. I suggest a pair of pants with a solid color t-shirt or blouse topped with a cover like a cardigan or lightweight jacket.

How to deal with film festival rejection? ›

The golden rule in this scenario is to never take rejection personally as it's not you personally that's being evaluated and assessed – it's your film.

What is the Big Five film festival? ›

Here, we take a look at the 'Big Five'.
  • Festival de Cannes. ...
  • Toronto International Film Festival. ...
  • Venice Film Festival. ...
  • Berlin Film Festival. ...
  • Sundance Film Festival. ...
  • Our MA Film Practice takes you one step closer towards your first film festival.

What are the goals of a film festival? ›

Film festivalsare basically a platform for filmmakers to showcase their films. Whether it is a well-established filmmaker's masterpiece or a groundbreaking debut for an aspiring filmmaker, these film festivals offer a dynamic platform for the filmmakers to showcase their films to a diverse range of audience.

Do film festivals pay for travel? ›

Filmmakers have to pay for their own travel expenses.

Not every festival can afford to pay a filmmakers travel expenses, but most of the legitimate ones can at least help with some accommodation or other travel expenses.

How to get invited to film festivals? ›

This is How to Get Accepted Into Film Festivals
  1. Evaluating Your Film Festival Goals. Is there a story you just need to tell or share? ...
  2. Learning More About The Festivals. ...
  3. Festival Submission Services. ...
  4. Completion Dates and Other Fine Print. ...
  5. Discs vs. ...
  6. Short Film vs. ...
  7. Premiere Status. ...
  8. Festivals with Markets.

How much does it cost to submit to a movie festival? ›

The cost of submitting films to film festivals can vary significantly depending on several factors: Film Festival Prestige: Prestigious Film Festivals: Generally have higher film submission fees, ranging from $50 to $150 or even more.

Why do people go to film festivals? ›

Attending film festivals (like Raindance) is a great way to meet other filmmakers and establish connections in the industry. It's an opportunity to showcase your work, exchange ideas with like-minded individuals, and find collaborators for future projects.

What are the roles in film festivals? ›

Festivals will need help in event administration, editing, marketing, customer service, wait staff, IT and technical staff, film screening, scheduling, ticket sales and distribution, venue reservation, public relations with attendees as well as producers and directors, security officers and so on.

What happens at a festival? ›

Festivals are cultural and social events that bring people together to celebrate and enjoy different forms of artistic expression, music, food and traditions. These events offer a unique and vibrant experience, and there is a wide variety of festival types to satisfy the interests of different audiences.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated:

Views: 5910

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.