Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has become the go-to sport for those who enjoy unbridled pummeling. Phoenix Fighting Challenge, a new local PRO/AM league, unveils its first event this month called The Rising. Four professional bouts feature Eric Grant, Marques Jackson, Andrew Tyson, Deron Carlis and Josh Pfeifer. Amateur title fights include flyweight with Demetrius Wilson and bantamweight with Sharky Slyter. 7 p.m., Nov. 1. Overland Park International Trade Center, 6800 W. 115th St. (An after party takes place immediately following the fights at Kanza Hall, 7300 W. 119th St.) cagetix.com. $25-$400.
Fall Public Hayrides
Mark Twain wrote, “Riding aloft on a mountain of fragrant hay. This is the earliest form of the human pleasure excursion.” Individuals and families are given the opportunity to enjoy autumn from the back of a tractor-drawn hay wagon during Shawnee Mission Park’s fall public hayride event. The ride lasts about an hour and is followed by a campfire celebration where apple cider and marshmallows are served. Advance registration is required and can be accessed on the “activities” page of the park’s website. 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Nov. 2. Oak Ridge Parklands, 7460 Ogg Road, Shawnee Mission. jcprd.com. $6.50.
Thodos Dance Chicago
The inspiring story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan earns a contemporary dance tribute in “A Light in the Dark.” The dozen performers in Thodos Dance Chicago (founded in 1992 by artistic director Melissa Thodos) display athletic prowess and lively choreography in their interpretation of the courageous pair’s renowned relationship. The program also showcases Keller’s eventual success as a humanitarian, educator and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 8 p.m., Nov. 8. Johnson County Community College. jccc.edu. $25-$35 for adults; $13-$18 for youth under 18.
Holiday Chick Event presents its latest Pop-Up Marketplace, a holiday boutique aimed at shoppers looking for handmade, one-of-a-kind, non-big-box-store gifts. Many Kansas City artists, Etsy shops and local stores will exhibit their unique wares in the former Restoration Hardware space at Town Center. The four-day event launches with a VIP party, though only a limited number of tickets for this early entry portion are available. 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Nov. 13 (VIP party); 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Nov. 14-15; 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 16. Town Center Plaza, 4853 W. 117th St. chickevents.com. $5.
“Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” One of the most famous calls in sports history belongs to Al Michaels, the play-by-play voice of “Sunday Night Football.” Michaels celebrates the release of his new memoir, “You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television.” In the book, the Emmy Award winner offers a behind-the-scenes look at a 40-year career covering the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA finals and the Olympics, where his “miracles” call became synonymous with the 1980 Gold Medal run of the U.S. hockey team. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Nov. 29. Rainy Day Books in Fairway, 2706 W 53rd St. rainydaybooks.com. The admission package of $28.99 includes one hardcover copy of “You Can’t Make This Up” and admission for two.
Jon Niccum, Special to The Star