Erie Gymnastics Center and Team Lightning will host the 17th Annual Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational at the Bayfront Convention Center January 12-15, 2018. The 2018 event is expected to be the largest ever hosted by the Erie Gymnastics Center, with 1,800 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 2017 event attracted more than 50 teams and nearly 1700 athletes from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Ohio and Ontario.
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 $75,000 for related charities.
The benefiting charity for the 2018 event is the Fallen Soldiers Picnic Fund. Based in Erie, the organization each year hosts a Memorial Day picnic in honor of several local servicemen who lost their lives in combat or to PTSD since 2003. The organization donates funds raised to assist local military families and causes.
Members of the organization will be at the meet to hand out awards to the athletes.
The Main Event, featuring national, top-level male and female athletes, will begin on Saturday, January 13 at 5:45 p.m.
“It’s hard to believe this is the 17th time we’ve hosted the Stars and Stripes Invitational, but I couldn’t be more proud of the growth it has seen over the years, due in part to our partnership with the Erie Sports Commission,” said Doug Pershun, Meet Director. “As always, we anticipate that this will be an exciting competition for both the gymnasts and spectators, especially at our Main Event, which is annually an incredible show to watch.”
“This invitational continues to impress us every year,” said Ron Sertz, Executive Director of the Erie Sports Commission. “Stars and Stripes has quickly become a highlight on Erie’s event calendar.”
Admission is free to all members of the military, police, fire and rescue workers. Admission for all others is $14 for adults, and $7 for children over the age of 3.
For more information, visit www.eriegymnastics.com.
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.