January 17 - 20th, 2020
Bayfront Convention Center
Erie, PA - USA
Women's USAG Levels 2 thru 10
Women's X-cel Bronze - Diamond
Men's USAG Level 4 thru 10
Men's Junior Development I & 2
Welcome to the Stars & Stripes Coed Invitational! Thanks for taking an interest in our competition. This is the 19th Annual Stars & Stripes Invitational. Thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of great people, Stars & Stripes has grown to become one of the biggest and best meets around.
Last year we welcomed over 2,000 Athletes from 55 quality gymnastics clubs from 4 Regions, 6 States, and 2 Nations. This years event promises to be even bigger and better!
About the year 2001, Erie Gymnastics / Team Lightning was growing as a business and Team and simply wanted to host a 'big meet'. During that year we researched all the components involved with hosting a 'big meet'.
Just up the road from Erie Gymnastics, Penn State Behrend Campus had just built a beautiful Sports Facility. The only weekend they had open for us to rent it was Feb. 1st - Groundhog Day. We were pretty nervous about this venture in that like a business, there is a small fortune in investment necessary to get started. If no Teams came to our event, we stood to lose a lot of money. With that in mind, on September 10th, 2001 we had a planning meeting for the first "Groundhog Day Invitational". We voted to go forward with the meet and wrote out and put in the mail a small fortune in deposit checks and contracts - (Facility Rental / Equipment Rental / Judges / Hotels...).
The following morning we woke up to the Horror of the Terrorist Attacks on our Nation! The world as we new it changed in an instant!
Gymnastics was the last thing on our minds, but somewhere along the line, we wondered if we would even have a 'gymnastics season'. Air Traffic was cancelled, people were afraid to meet in public places, even the NFL cancelled games.
As our Nation started to heal, we felt kind of silly celebrating a "Ground Hog" when the nightly news featured the heroic acts of brave Firefighters, Police, Rescue Workers who were running up the buildings as they were coming down. Our Military was also gearing up to take the fight to the terrorists.
We decided to direct attention in their direction. To thank them, to honor them, and to honor our Freedom to assemble to watch our beloved and talented children participate in their favorite sport!
That first year we put everything we had into that competition. We had 225 athletes participate in the event - which was exactly what we needed to break even!
The attending team raved about our efforts and promised to be back next year. Each year we grew... eventually growing out of 1 facility and then another. As the meet became more and more successful, we started giving back. Each year we've taken on various 'local' charities that have a positive impact on Military / Fire / Police & Rescue Workers. To date, we've been able to assist and dontate over $100,000.00 dollars to various 9/11 charities... including Search & Recue K9 Team / Returning home funds for VETS / Volunteer Fire Departments / Care Packages for Active Military / Veterans Miracle Center and much much more... all in the name of our Extended Gymnastics Family!
Star's & Stripes has grown to become the largest Coed Invitational in Pennsylvania. The event attracted 2,000 athletes, 55 teams, and thousands of spectators.
The Event has moved into the beautiful Bayfront Convention Center - right on the downtown Erie waterfront - with 2 convenient attached Hotels.
Erie is the 'snowiest' cite in the USA, but there is still plenty to see and do while in town! Erie welcomes you with all sorts of things to do including Presque Isle Downs & Casino / Peak & Peak Ski Resort / Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park / our huge Millcreek Mall Shopping Complex / Presque Isle State Park / Wine Tours... and much much more!
Each year we put ALL we have into the Stars & Stripes. We pride ourselves on conducting a Fun, Fair, Organized Competition. We pride ourselves on the 'personal touch' where at some meets... well - you feel like cattle getting shuffled through. We think about the comfort of seating for the parents, the visibility of the equipment, the decorations. We think about getting accurate and quick computerized scores. We believe that the gymnasts who work hard enough to earn a medal & trophy - that they are special and custom to the event. We think about access to Hotels, places to get a good meal, Things to do... which all add to the experience. We think about the Firemen, Police, Military, & Rescue workers who continue that line of work today and honor them and invited them to be our guests (free admission) and helping out with our Awards Ceremonies. In essence, we really try to make it a Special Event for ALL! We look forward to seeing you at the Star's & Stripes 2020!
One unique and really cool feature of our Stars & Stripes is the "Main Event!" What is the Main Event? As the Stars & Stripes began to grow, the Press became heavily interested in this 'huge event' taking place in downtown Erie. As a gym owner, it's hard for me to even explain to my customers the USAG "Level Sys
Check out this great video