From Turkey Trots to Christmas shows, here are holiday events not to miss in the Erie area

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Are you craving turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie? Do you have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head? 

Well, you’re not alone. With the holiday seasons almost upon us, we’ve compiled a list of what is going on in the Erie area to fill your festive calendar. We are sure to miss a few of the events, but we will add to this list as we get more information. You can also find more things to do around Erie, and add your own event, at

From Turkey Trots to Christmas shows, here are holiday events not to miss in the Erie area
© JACK HANRAHAN/ERIE TIMES-NEWS Motorists pass displays of holiday lights Dec. 5, 2020, at Presque Isle State Park during the first Presque Isle Lights event.

Presque Isle Lights

Presque Isle Lights returns for the second year with self-guided evening driving tours at the peninsula to see seasonal lights beginning Friday, Dec. 3. It will continue on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 26. Jon DeMarco, executive director of the Presque Isle Partnership, said Thursdays were added this year to help reduce congestion.

DeMarco said the hours will likely remain 6 to 9 p.m. There will be more than 30,000 lights, all of them LED, and visitors will still see them in nature themes, such as light displays of deer and birds.

Presque Isle Lights is free to attend, but donations are accepted at a booth at the Vista 2 parking lot.

Lit up again: Presque Isle State Park to shine with second annual driving tour of light displays

Holiday fun: Festival of Trees back to in-person event at Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center

From Turkey Trots to Christmas shows, here are holiday events not to miss in the Erie area
© JACK HANRAHAN/ERIE TIMES-NEWS Holiday lights decorate “The Feather” at Leo’s Landing at Presque Isle State Park on Dec 11, 2020, during the Presque Isle Lights event.

Festival of Trees

The 37th annual Festival of Trees is scheduled Nov. 26-28 at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier. View more than 80 holiday trees that are decorated by local artists, plus check out an interactive Santa’s Castle, Teddy Bear Clinic and Reindeer Experience.

From Turkey Trots to Christmas shows, here are holiday events not to miss in the Erie area
© JACK HANRAHAN/ERIE TIMES-NEWS Visitors look at the decorated trees on display Nov. 29, 2019, during the Saint Vincent Festival of Trees at the Bayfront Convention Center. This year’s event runs Nov. 26, 27 and 28.

Hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Nov. 26 and 27, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Nov. 28. Price is $10 for those older than 12, $6 for ages 2 to 12 and free for younger. Additional fees apply for face painting, train rides and raffle tickets. Visit for more information.

‘Come Home for the Holidays’

The Erie Philharmonic’s “Come Home for the Holidays” celebrates the season through music with two shows on Dec. 4. The event was originally scheduled to be a reopening for the Warner Theatre, but construction delays have caused organizers to move it to Erie Insurance Arena, 809 French St. 

From Turkey Trots to Christmas shows, here are holiday events not to miss in the Erie area
© GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS Erie Philharmonic conductor Daniel Meyer leads the orchestra during a performance inside the Warner Theatre on Jan. 18, 2020, in Erie. The Erie Philharmonic’s “Come Home for the Holidays” shows are scheduled for Dec. 4 at Erie Insurance Arena.

The shows, which will feature the Erie Philharmonic chorus and junior chorus along with Broadway star Ashley Brown, are scheduled for 3-5:30 p.m. and 8-10:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $10 to $56. Find more information at

Construction delays: Reopening of Erie’s Warner Theatre pushed back. Here’s what we know

More: Erie Philharmonic principal cellist breaks barriers, brings classical music ‘to the people’

Here are some other holiday events coming to the Erie area:

  • Holiday Craft & Gift Festival at Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier: Nov. 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Nov. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Formerly the For Women Only/HER show, the free hybrid event highlights staying healthy during the holidays and shopping. 814-455-1260. For information, visit
  • Turkey Trot at Presque Isle State Park. The Erie Runners Club’s Thanksgiving Day race is set for 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 25. Participants can enter the 5K, 10K or combined 5K and 10K. $12-$15.
  • Ana Gasteyer’s “Sugar & Booze” tour in MIAC Live series: Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m., Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University, 501 E. 38th St. The comedic actor of stage and screen, “Saturday Night Live” alum and accomplished singer performs songs with her band from her new holiday album, “Sugar & Booze.” $20-$45. 814-824-3000,
  • “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”: The Erie Playhouse, 13 West 10 St., will produce the holiday musical on Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m.. $15-$24. 814-454-2852,
  • “The Little Town of Christmas”: Northwestern’s middle school holiday musical

    will run Dec. 3-4 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. 814-756-9400.

  • “Christmas Memories” at The Station Dinner Theater, 4940 Peach St., will return from Dec. 4 to 19 for its 31st run. $28-$41. 814-864-2022,
  • Leslie Odom Jr.’s “The Christmas Tour” in MIAC Live series: Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m., Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University, 501 E. 38th St. Odom, an award-winning vocalist, songwriter, author and actor, performs songs from his holiday albums and more. $40-$65. 814-824-3000,
  • “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge”: Performing Artists Collective Alliance, 1505 State St., will produce the holiday comedy by Christopher Durang, running Dec. 10-18. $15. 814-616-7222,
  • Handel’s “Messiah” at First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 250 W. Seventh St.: Dec. 11, 3 and 8 p.m. The famous holiday oratorio features the Erie Philharmonic chorus and musicians, along with conductor Thomas Brooks, soprano Elizabeth Baldwin, mezzo-soprano Joan Marie Peitscher, tenor Wesley Lawrence and baritone Edward Pleasant. $10-$21. 814-452-4857,
  • Barber Christmas Ball at Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier: Dec. 11, 7 p.m.-midnight. Annual festive event supports the mission of the Barber National Institute. Lively celebration with food, drink, dancing and live music. $95. 814-455-1260,

Upcoming plays, musicals: Erie-area theaters’ play, musical productions set through the rest of 2021

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: From Turkey Trots to Christmas shows, here are holiday events not to miss in the Erie area

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