The Purchase District Fair might be different for 2021, but at least it is back.
Following its hiatus during pandemic-impacted 2020, organizers with the Mayfield-Graves County Parks Board, which oversees the fair, have been working and planning to not only host the fair but to offer new and unique events for the local community and Jackson Purchase, as a whole.
Parks director and fair chair Kristin Chaudoin King said they are gearing up for a big fair this summer, but are also working to be flexible if capacity has to be restricted.
“We’re looking at all of our options so that regardless of how things are going this summer, we can have the fair,” she said.
With that in mind, organizers went with a Kentucky Department of Agriculture recommendation to split the fair dates. More localized events and entertainment will be featured June 4-5 with local booths and concessions, food trucks, harness racing, and ATV and truck drag racing. The Graves County Soccer Association will also hold an open house at the indoor soccer facility at the fairgrounds both nights.
That weekend will also bring back the Miss Purchase District Fair and Miss Teen Purchase District Fair pageants.
“We haven’t done these in years,” King said. She noted both pageant winners will advance to the state level for scholarship opportunities.
New events will be a pet show with the Graves County Animal Shelter, cornhole tournament and celtic backhold wrestling.
“We’re pretty excited, putting lots of things together, and that’s just the first two days,” King said.
The second stage of the fair will be July 28-31 that will have the larger carnival events and kick off with a Faith and Family Night. King said there will be praise music at the grandstand and a Christian illusionist who will perform to share a faith-based message for children.
On July 29, the fair will host a Special Needs Day when the carnival will turn down its music and lights and slow the rides. “So anybody who has some special need that prevents them from going to the fair, we can get tickets to them through JU Kevil, the schools, family resource centers, and have them come with their escort and enjoy the carnival and midway and some games,” she said.
A planned 5K run and walk will also be held June 12 to help fund and promote Special Needs Day.
One night will be touted as Main Street at the Fair with businesses which have sponsored the fair at any monetary level can set up booths, activities and hand out coupons. King noted several sponsors on board including Mayfield Consumer Products, WK&T, River Valley AgCredit, D&B Nurseries, A&B Barbecue, C&W Lumber, West Kentucky RECC, Mayfield-Graves County Tourism, King’s Publishing, Lee’s Body Shop, Mayfield Kiwanis Club, 4-H and Mayfield Lions Club.
“We’re really pleased with all the community support. If we didn’t have these funds, then we really couldn’t do much,” King said. “We’ve got a lot going on and a lot of activities we’d like to have, but we’re looking for more organizers to put on those additional events.”
Additional activities can range from a talent show, band battle, lawnmower races, eating contests, and chicken rodeo. Other events that will take place include a fourth grade art contest, enduro-racing, livestock shows, a childhood cancer benefit concert by Jay Black, FFA petting zoo, and Wild West Day at Cartwright Grove.
The fairgrounds will also be busy throughout the summer outside of the two fair sessions. The Purchase District Fair Horse Show will be a stand alone event on June 26, as will kickboxing and mixed martial arts fights on July 24. King said a big event that will not be part of the main fair is the demolition derby, but added an organizer had joined the effort and plans to hold it in August.
Along with the events, King noted facility upgrades made possible through a $40,500 grant through the state ag department the board received last year has gone to additional fencing, electrical work, a new public announcement system, and a new rubberized roof on the expo building.
King said they have received countless feedback through the Purchase District Fair’s Facebook page. Her plans are to eventually establish a fair website. Anyone interested in helping organize an event should contact King at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 270-804-1405.
“We want to do everything we can and have a celebration of community out there,” she added.