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John Louis, a Christian illusionist, will be performing in the expo building at the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds next week on July 28, Parks Director and Purchase District Fair Chair Kristin King said.

The Purchase District Fair will introduce a special guest during Faith and Family Night next week.

John Louis, a Christian illusionist who travels to various churches across Kentucky, will be introduced during the event before heading to the expo center to perform for children and adults alike, Parks Director and Purchase District Fair Chair Kristin King said.

Louis, she said, is quite popular with the churches he visits and will be lending his talents to the fair.

Faith and Family Night, she added, is an event that will allow residents to gather for praise, worship and prayer for the community. Gospel prayer and worship will be held in the grandstands at 7 p.m., with Brother Steve Melvin from the Church of the Nazarene organizing the event.

The Christian event takes place at the same time as the carnival, which will officially be open to the public beginning that day from 4:30-9:30 p.m., and will operate every night at the same times through July 31. King said all the traditional things residents would expect at a carnival will be present and accounted for, such as rides and funnel cake.

While many are likely excited for the flashing lights, loud music and thick crowds that the carnival brings in, it’s not a setting that works for everyone. That’s why on July 29, King said the carnival will slow things down just a bit for Special Needs Day from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. This event is designed to accommodate certain individuals, such as those with autism, who don’t do well in crowded, loud or flashy settings.

She added that parents wishing for their children to participate in Special Needs Day should call the J.U. Kevil Memorial Foundation at 270-247-5396 and ask for Kaitlin Wilson.

For this coming weekend, however, King said the fair is winding up for something that packs a bit more punch: War in the Cage 2 Mixed Martial Arts and KickBoxing.

This Saturday’s fight night will see approximately 20 MMA fighters duke it out in a ring in the expo building. According to the Purchase District Fair Facebook page, one of the bouts will be Will Caylor versus Zack Lozano. King noted that the fights are not made-for-tv, and are very real.

“This is the real deal. It’s not a show, it’s real fighting with the mixed martial arts,” she said.

Yonah Patterson, who she said is from the Graves County area, first approached them in 2019 about bringing the second War in the Cage to the Purchase District Fair in 2020, but the pandemic ensured that would not happen.

With this year’s fair actually taking place, King said Patterson wanted to finally bring War in the Cage from Paducah to the Mayfield and Graves County area.

Patterson, she said, trains youths in the area, and that his motivation was to “benefit” the parks of Mayfield and Graves County. The Mayfield Messenger has attempted to reach Patterson multiple times for more information on the upcoming event.

Tickets cost $30, and are available for adults and children at Sunshine Creations on Paris Road, King said. They will also be available for purchase when the doors to the expo building open at 6 p.m. Saturday night for attendees. The fights will begin at 7 p.m.

She noted that arrangements have been made with Mayfield-Graves County EMS for two paramedics and an ambulance to be on standby during the event.

Next week will feature much more festivities than just the carnival and Faith and Family Night. Monday and Tuesday will start things off with 4-H Exhibits on Monday and Tuesday. Entry check-in will run from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at the expo building on Monday, and Tuesday will see them judged from 8 a.m.-noon before being displayed.

King noted that the event is not exclusive to 4-H members, and that anyone under 18 years of age across the state can submit their crafts for a chance to win ribbons and even prize money.

Kicking off Wednesday morning will be the Graves County Cooperative Extension Office’s Home Division event. The contest will see people from all over enter their work based on seven categories, including canning, foods, quilts, clothing, stitchery, crafts and recycled crafts. Entry check-ins will run from 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in the expo building.

Extension Agent Denise Wooley has stated that participants do not need to reside in Kentucky to participate in the contests, and that winners have a chance of winning ribbons or even prize money.

A full list of rules for Home Division can be found at graves.ca.uky.edu.

These are only a small portion of next week’s upcoming festivities. With all that’s going on, King said she is happy with how the Purchase District Fair is turning out.

“I’m just really pleased with the way everything is coming together,” she said.

A full list of the Purchase District Fair’s events dates and times is available at www.purchasedistrictfair.com/schedule.