Friday kicked off the first weekend in a string of fair events planned throughout the summer.
Parks Director and Purchase District Fair Chair Kristin King said the weekend’s events went “pretty well” considering there had never been a singular theme for festivities before.
“It’s the first time we tried to build kind of a weekend around the harness racing, which we’ve always had, and so it felt like a really good first effort at that,” King said. “We’ve learned some things and have gotten some feedback on ways to improve that effort.”
The events included various activities such as a country music concert, inflatable carnival, and a petting zoo. But for King, the biggest success was the return of pageants which haven’t been held in the area for approximately 20 years.
There were three pageants: Miss Purchase District Fair, Miss Teen Purchase District Fair and Miss Pre-Teen. King noted that the current Mrs. Kentucky America, Kim Robinson of Calvert City, was one of the judges.
“Just re-introducing that, it’s really exciting and there was good participation,” she said.
Since the local fair is registered with the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows, the winners of Miss Teen are allowed to compete for a scholarship at the state level.
King also noted that pageants are open statewide and having them at the fair is a draw for people to visit Mayfield and Graves County.
Another success she added was Book for Hope on Saturday night. The non-profit is a childhood cancer benefit, and managed to pull in around $605 despite it raining at 8 p.m.
While some things went well, there was room for improvement, King said. One of the things she would like on Fridays is a demolition derby, which is “hugely popular” among surrounding communities. However, a lack of funds has so far barred them from having one.
“It’s an expensive endeavor, but the popularity of it is so huge I think that it would be a huge draw and I think the people in our community would really enjoy it,” King said.
They also intend to move the petting zoo to a more ideal location, she added.
The next summer fair event is the horse show on June 26, which is being put on by the Graves County Riding Club. Following that is “War in the Cage” on July 24, which King described as a mixed martial arts fight night. From July 26-27 will be the 4-H and Home Division. And finally from July 28-31 will be the midway games, carnival rides and enduro-racing.