Community was key to ‘Haunted Graves’ success

To the Editor,

On behalf of the Mayfield-Graves County Tourism Commission, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mayfield-Graves County community for their support of our month-long “Haunted Graves Festival.” The Haunted Graves Committee, made up of Fred Biggs, John Carrico and Jill Kirby, launched a fundraising campaign in early 2020 to purchase downtown Halloween-themed lights. Eighteen local businesses, including Mayfield Electric & Water, WK&T, Milner & Orr Funeral Home, Harris Real Estate & Auction, First Kentucky, Byrn Funeral Home, Mayfield Rotary Club, Signet Federal Credit Union, Brown Funeral Home, TVA, CEB Investments, CFSB, Independence Bank, Jackson Purchase Medical Center, River Valley AgCredit, McDonalds, West Kentucky Rural Electric, and FNB, generously donated $13,650 and launched the momentum for the 2021 Haunted Graves Festival.

We are fortunate to have three October-themed attractions in Mayfield-Graves County that have been drawing people into our community for years: A-Maize-ing Farms, Industrial Slaughterhouse, and Talon Falls. Using these businesses as our “anchors,” we were able to add more than 20 different events throughout the month, sponsored by local businesses and civic organizations, including the Mayfield-Graves County Art Guild, the Lighthouse, the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds, the Mayfield-Graves County Ballpark, the Purchase District Fair Board, the Kessians Disc Golf Club, the Kiwanis Club, the Graves County Public Library, WK&T, West Kentucky Rural Electric, FNB, Rotary Club, the City of Mayfield, Top Gun Car Shows & Cruise-Ins, Independence Bank, CFSB, First Kentucky Bank, Graves County Extension, Youngblood’s RV & Outdoor, Purchase Players, River Valley AgCredit, Princess Theaters, and Cartwright Grove.

Additional media sponsors/promoters included Robinson Outdoor, the Mayfield Messenger, WYMC, and Summit University.

A special thanks goes out to Richard Burchett and the Graves County High School Screaming Eagle Band for their FNB Glowing Graves Parade performance of “Thriller”; that video was shared on social media 139 times and reached more than 10,000 people from 10 different states. Another special thanks goes to Mike Adkins who, on behalf of River Valley AgCredit, delivered over 90 hay bales to 69 local businesses, where creativity abounded!

People from all over the four-state region visited our town in October to see the Halloween lights and hay bales, participate in our sponsored events, and visit our anchor attractions. Hopefully while they were here they shopped our stores, ate in our restaurants, spent the night in our hotels, and maybe even bought a little gas for the ride home.

Believe it or not, we already are planning for 2022. If you are a business who would like to sponsor an event next year or donate funds to purchase additional Halloween-themed lights, please give us a call at the Tourism Office (270-247-6106) and we will get you on the Haunted Graves team!

Jennifer Beck Walker

Mayfield-Graves County Tourism

Executive Director