Black History Month Spotlight: Woodard Dynasty Entertainment

In recognition of Black History Month, we highlight those who are enhancing the well-being of our community. Today, we spotlight Alicia and Daren Woodard from Woodard Dynasty Entertainment.  

This dynamic duo is spreading laughter and love in Erie through their popular family entertainment business which features crowd favorites ‘The Brown Clowns’ and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Black Santa’. Not only are they bringing the party with laughter and fun, but also creating lasting memories for young and old alike.  

It all started when the Woodards, born and raised in Erie, dressed as clowns for their son’s 4th birthday in 2013. The clown theme was such a success, the next year they had the rest of their family dress as clowns, which again was a hit. In 2019, they created a name and in 2022 they officially formed the business.  

But their entrepreneurial spirit was challenged during the global pandemic. Alicia says, “COVID really changed our business dynamic and a lot of the private parties got cut short because people were not allowing visitors into their homes.” 

“COVID pushed us to change what we did. Now, a lot of times when we’re entertaining, we have a hygiene segment where we teach children how to wash their hands, keep their fingers out of their noses, cover their coughs and sneezes, and so on.” 

“We were scared at first to start our own business, but because of the response that we got, we felt it was needed. Daren says, “Seeing the looks on kids’ faces, to see that excitement, made us push even more.”  

Since then, they’ve performed at huge community events like CelebrateErie, the Fall Fest, and at after-school programs and other venues. They were even featured on the front page of the Sunday Erie Times News and on local TV news. 


Whether it’s just coming to sing happy birthday, or a full carnival with specialized homemade scented face ‘bling’, inflatable bounce houses, games, and prizes, Alicia says it’s all about “imagination, a safe place to dream, have fun, and let go. Even when adults see us, they are so happy that they want to play.” A big attraction at their parties is Layla, a friendly, fat bunny that kids love to pet, hold and feed. The Woodards also teach some old-school activities that many children may not know such as hopscotch and jump rope.  

And for those who think they might be afraid of clowns, Daren says, “We’ve had people who say they are scared of clowns, but when they get around us, it’s a whole different thing. One mom with an autistic child told us that her son would never go up to a clown before, but we were the first clowns he’s gone up to.”    

The Woodards are proud to be from Erie, and Alicia says, “There are so many different cultures here and as the Brown Clowns, I want to stress the word brown because we are brown, even if you don’t see us. There weren’t too many brown clowns in Erie besides Beary Clark many years ago. So, it’s a respectful segue off of what he did with a modern twist.” 

What does Black History Month mean to them? Alicia says, “I’m black, obviously, 12 months of the year, but I do love the fact that February gives people the opportunity to learn more about us. I respect the fact that we have a month and there are people out there who actually want to learn more. That makes me excited and proud to do what we do because there is greatness in our black community. There are a lot of us doing great things, especially small business. I want you to know my culture. We are brown first and the characters second. I feel I am opening the door for African American women to be these types of characters and I want more of that.”  

Woodard Dynasty Entertainment was awarded a City of Erie Flagship micro grant in December 2023 to help them grow their business. Soon, Alicia will also attend a cohort at the ErieMade Business Academy (ErieMade) through Bridgeway Capital to learn more about successful marketing and advertising.  

As far as advice for other entrepreneurs Alicia says, “You must have your heart into it. Otherwise, it will feel like work. I love going to work and making people laugh. Making people smile is the name of my game and that’s what I do each and every day.”  

Find more information about Woodard Dynasty Entertainment on Facebook or on their website

Remember to look for the Woodards at CelebrateErie, August 16-18. 

Translate »