The 177th Erie County Fair will officially open to the general public at noon today at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. There will be a short ceremony beginning at 11:45 a.m. at the fair's historic McKinley Parkway iron gate. The program will also include remarks by fair officials, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a flurry of fireworks at noon.
Following the opening of the 177th Fair, the doors will open to the new Heritage & History Center at 1 p.m.
Here is what you need to know for Day 1 of the Erie County Fair:
•Live in the GUSTO Grandstand: "Rock Fest" featuring Bret Michaels with Warrant and Lita Ford. Michaels is best known for his time as lead singer of the metal group Poison. The band had six top 10 singles on the Billboard charts in the 1980s and has sold more than 45 million albums worldwide. Michaels wrote Poison's most popular song, "Every Rose Has its Thorn." The song was the only Poison hit to make it all the way to No. 1.
Warrant's debut album, "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich," went double-platinum. The single "Heaven" went to No. 1 on Rolling Stone and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Warrant's second album, "Cherry Pie," with a single of the same name, is the band's bestselling and most popular album to date.
At age 16, Ford was recruited to play alongside Joan Jett, among others, in The Runaways, an American rock band.
The show is part of the National Grid Concert Series. It will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at the ticket office located behind the grandstand.
•Deals and discounts. It's Channel 2 Day and, as such, admission and parking are each $2.
•Canned food drive. Guests who bring a canned food donation receive free admission to the Erie County Fair. Donations benefit the Food Bank of WNY.
•One-price ride day. Unlimited ride wristbands are available for just $30 on the Strates Midway. Guests who pre-purchased their ride vouchers at Tops may redeem them at the Strates ticket booth at the top of the Avenue of Flags.
•Special events include: