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Pemberville Fair's wedding-themed flower show sets all-time record PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA, Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Friday, 16 August 2013 09:04
Best of Show winner Teri Hansen, Pemberville, with her ‘Wedding Toast’ arrangement. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PEMBERVILLE - Wedding bells are ringing.
Romance is in the air, and all the colors of love are present - literally.
It's the Pemberville Free Fair's popular flower show, on view through Saturday in the Riverview Banquet Center.
Clearly, area flower gardeners embraced the theme, "A Wedding A'Fair," as the 2013 show recorded the biggest number of entries in anyone's memory - 567.
"We actually ran out of containers to put specimens in; that's the first time that's ever happened," noted chairperson Trina Karns following Wednesday's judging. "Some of the charter members (of show sponsor Four Seasons Garden Club), who've been here 20 years, said they've never run out before."
That 567 total includes an impressive 97 floral arrangements.
"It's a wonderful show, beautiful," complemented Renee Wendt, co-chairperson, pointing out that the judges awarded the show a 98 score out of a possible 100. "They said it compares to a county fair show." 
Awards of Distinction went to Chuck Hablitzel (left) for his patio redwood gerbera daisy and Trina Karns with her two-container ‘Bride and Groom’ design.
Reegan Sheets of Perrysburg with her ‘Ring Bearer’ design in the fair’s junior division.
Linda Hablitzel, Perrysburg, won for her honeymoon table setting.
Jane Kohlenberg of Pemberville with her floor display in the ‘Blushing Bride’ class, complete with circa 1960s gown, which won first place at the Pemberville Free Fair.
Faye Schuerman of Pemberville with her winning wall niche: Wedding Reception.
It's tempting to attribute that success to the regular rainfalls of recent weeks, but in fact "the weather was so variable," depending upon where one lives, said Karns, that some folks faced a huge growing challenge this summer.
"It was scattered" as gardens to the south and east were absolutely soaked and yet other folks had too little moisture earlier in the growing season.
"I had no project flowers at all," Wendt said.
Both women believe exhibitors were charmed by the whole idea of weddings as a theme that lends itself perfectly to a flower show.
That's true of Linda Hablitzel of Perrysburg, who won of the top awards in her very first attempt ever at entering the Pemberville show.
A Four Seasons member who ran into Hablitzel in the grocery store as both were ordering flowers encouraged the regular Wood County Fair exhibitor to consider the Pemberville Fair as well.
"We were both buying roses from Kroger," Hablitzel explained.
She incorporated deep red Freedom roses into her winning arrangement for "Honeymoon," a romantic dinner table for two.
"I had bought white roses, too, and they didn't open at all." Ironically, "the white ones, they special-ordered for me overnight."
So she ended up using only red roses and baby's breath.
"I wanted something romantic, and elegant."
Linda's husband Chuck Hablitzel, who stays away from arrangements but entered a whopping 90-some specimens in the show, teased his "bride" about all the black touches she used on the table, and what that black might signify.
She quickly pointed out the red candles, silver beaded napkin rings and clear crystal she'd also included.
Chuck Hablitzel also went home happy: he won the Judges' Award of Distinction for Best Horticulture Exhibit for his gerbera daisy with coral and yellow rings.
Probably the most eye-catching display in the entire show is the stage designs, three tall floral arrangements each placed on a small table next to a vintage bridal gown.
Here the blue ribbon went to Jane Kohlenberg for "Wedding Reception," her arrangement of pink, light purple and white carnations plus lilac greenery in a vertical arrangement with shockingly long lines. Tiny blue-white lights ran from top to bottom.
"A difficult design to do - great job,"judges said.
The arrangement set off a stunning 1960s-era gown with a satin bodice accented by large floral appliques, a tulle overskirt and long sleeves with covered button wrist closures.
The other two entries in this category were placed next to bridal gowns from about 1950 and 1984.
All three dresses are owned by Karns' sister, Cindy Lohrach.
"She has a basement full of costumes so she loaned the dresses and dress forms to us. The Opera House uses her costumes," said Karns, so some might look familiar.
Amazingly, the three exhibitors in this class didn't know ahead of time which dress they would be assigned, or what decade it would represent.
Also successful was Sandy Grolle, who won both the Indoor Grower Award for top houseplant, for a Norfolk Island pine, and Green Thumb Award for a huge pink hibiscus.
Best of Show for arrangements went to Teri Hansen for "Wedding Toast," her Hogarth-curved arrangement of green Bells of Ireland, sunflowers, and rosy mini carnations
The junior Best of Show winner was Reegan Sheets, in the under-14 class, for her interpretation of  "Ring Bearer." She combined green mums, euonymous leaves and gold metal coil to suggest rings.
Karns walked away with the John Moore Award of Distinction for Creative Designs for "Bride and Groom," an arrangement using two containers. She cleverly combined pink Stargazer lilies and red plum leaf from a generous neighbor's yard.
"The last wedding I was at, they had submerged flowers inside the tall clear glass vases" used as table centerpieces and Karns borrowed the idea. She submerged lilies in water inside her first vase. The vase right behind was sheathed it in black cloth, as if to suggest "groom" cuddling up to the pretty pink and white "bride."
The show is on view until Saturday evening.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 August 2013 09:36

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