Someone, somewhere, in Hancock County may be asking: Why should I go to the Hancock County Fair?
That’s a good question, but a better one, though hard to imagine, may be: What if we didn’t have a county fair?
For starters, we’d have six fewer days each year to bring together the best of our rural and urban lifestyles. The Old Millstream Fairgrounds, in the heart of Findlay, becomes a melting pot of people, farm animals, contests, amusement rides, and wholesome, and not so wholesome, food.
If we didn’t have the fair, all the county kids and many of the city ones would be in school instead of having the odd, but traditional, break a week after heading back to the classroom. And certainly, we’d be less annoyed by all the traffic snarls along East Sandusky Street and Fishlock Avenue.
But we’d have to search hard for once-a-year delicacies like fried cheese, chocolate-covered frozen bananas, elephant ears and French waffles. We’d acquire fewer stuffed animals and flimsy wooden canes. And where would we find free yardsticks and fly-swatters?
Politicians would have fewer hands to shake and babies to kiss. Junkyards would be prematurely filled with cars still good enough for the demolition derby. Old John Deeres and Farmalls would rust in fields because there were no tractor pulls. And we’d have to go all the way to Cedar Point to ride a ride or to the Toledo Zoo to pet a goat.
Where would we have to go to see a monster pumpkin? Circleville?
Worse yet, 4-H kids who have invested a year raising goats, cattle, sheep and swine wouldn’t get to show off, or add to their savings without a livestock auction.
If we didn’t have our fair, how would we ever catch up with all those friends we haven’t seen, in many cases, since the last fair?
Rest easy. There’s no need to speculate on the future of the fair. By every measure, ours is still going strong.
This year’s edition opens Wednesday and ends Labor Day. Some things may have changed along Lye Creek and the midway, but you really only need one reason to go to the fair: To have a little fun.
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