Erie to Host Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational

14 Jan, 2019

Erie Gymnastics Center and Team Lightning will host the 18th Annual Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational at the Bayfront Convention Center, Jan. 18-21. The 2019 event is expected to be the largest event hosted by the Erie Gymnastics Center, with nearly 2,000 athletes competing.

The Stars and Stripes Invitational is recognized as the largest coed gymnastics invitational in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the eastern United States.

The 2018 event attracted more than 50 teams and 1,700 athletes from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Ohio and Ontario. The economic impact of the event is estimated to exceed $900,000.

The Stars and Stripes Invitational was founded in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and each year honors a local military, police or fire and rescue-related organization as a charity partner. Since the event’s inception, Erie Gymnastics has raised more than $85,000 for related charities. In 2018, the event raised $10,000 for the Fallen Soldiers Picnic Fund.

The benefiting charity for the 2019 event is the Fairfield Hose Volunteer Fire Department. 

The Main Event, featuring national, top-level male and female athletes, will begin Saturday, Jan. 19 at 5:45 p.m.

“I’m blown away by the continued growth of this event,” said Doug Pershun, meet director and owner of Erie Gymnastics Center. “Each year we see new teams, and the event sells out earlier. We are looking forward to hosting new teams in 2019, including a group from Florida, and showing everyone a competitive, fun event.”

“The Stars and Stripes Invitational is one of our signature events year in and year out,” said Mark Jeanneret, executive director of the Erie Sports Commission. “The event brings a high level of competition to our area every winter. The thousands of athletes and families who will be in Erie for the event will be met with a successful, well-run event and a litany of great amenities to enjoy all around our region.”

Admission is free to all members of the military, police, fire and rescue workers. Admission for all others is $15 for adults, and $7 for children over the age of 3.

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The Erie Sports Commission is committed to promoting the Erie region as a prime destination for sports and recreation. The major goals of the ESC are to attract, create, support, and host sporting and recreational events that have a positive economic impact on the region, and assist in maximizing the potential of all regional sports facilities and venues. The ESC strives to enhance the image of Erie by showcasing the community, promote wellness through healthy lifestyles, and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages.


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