Fair pavilion, flower shop fire

Hancock County fair officials have had ambitious ideas before, most notably one several years ago to relocate the fairgrounds to county-owned land just west of Findlay.
The thought was, by moving to higher ground, flooding issues would be eliminated during fair week. There would also be more room for growth and the new location would be more accessible.
Those plans never got the community support they needed, however, and officials now seem content to keep the fair at the East Sandusky Street location where it has been for 75 years.
The fair board’s latest plan, to build a Junior Fair pavilion at the fairgrounds, would be a good addition to the landscape, providing there are enough donations to pay for it. The proposal, which was unveiled Wednesday, calls for replacing the youth building and education building with a structure with restrooms, heating and better ventilation.
The pavilion, at 11,200 square feet, would be larger than the buildings it would replace.
While both the youth and education buildings are still being used, both are in need of repairs. Neither is suitable for use during colder months.
Hundreds of county students participate in 4-H and other ag-related programs and they deserve to have a bigger, better place to show off during the fair and to use for gatherings at other times of the year.
Agriculture is still important in Hancock County and we should encourage area youth to be engaged in farming practices, whether it be to raise a dairy feeder or by completing a woodworking project through 4-H.
The recent construction of the Legacy Pavilion livestock building, and expansion of the Buckeye Building, which houses market beef and dairy feeders, suggests the Old Mill Stream Fairgrounds will be the fair’s permanent home.
We would encourage fairgoers to view the plans which are on display in front of the senior fair office and in the Grange Building, and get behind the project.
Helping fund the Junior Fair pavilion through a donation would be a good investment in the community, and provide a suitable showcase for tomorrow’s farmers.
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Anyone who knows the little things that make Findlay stand out had to cringe this week upon hearing of the fire at Sink’s Flower Shop and Greenhouse on Second Street.
The blaze, reported early Monday, all but destroyed the nearly 100-year-old business. No one was injured, and the business’ cat and rabbit were saved, but the fire left black scars throughout the quaint shop that had produced joy and comfort, in the form of flowers, for generations.
Who hasn’t, at one time or the other, gotten Valentine’s Day flowers or ordered a Memorial Day grave blanket from Sink’s?
Started in the 1920s by Lois and Francis Sink, and later run by family members Don and Dave Sink, and eventually Chuck Clapper, the business carved out a niche in horticulture with quality flowers and personal service. Many of the plants were raised from seed at the Second Street greenhouse, artfully arranged by designers, and delivered by drivers who usually knew lucky recipients by name.
Never mind that your bouquet may cost a bit more than the one you could get at the grocery store or through the Internet. If it came from Sink’s, you knew it would please and last a little longer.
We hope Clapper, who also operates Alpine Flower Gallery on North Main Street, finds a way to rebuild. If he doesn’t, Findlay will have lost far much more than just a little, neighborhood flower shop.

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