Festival Offers Nostalgic Weekend for Griffith Fans
Visitors from across the country will flock to Mount Airy this September for a four-day celebration of yesteryear known as the Mayberry Days Festival.
The festival continues through Sunday, Sept. 25.
It allows fans of "The Andy Griffith Show" to enjoy a glimpse of life in that nostalgic place known as "Mayberry," while tracing the footsteps of Mount Airy's most famous son.
Several actors from the show will make appearances. The list includes Betty Lynn, who played Barney Fife's girlfriend Thelma Lou, as well as Doug Dillard and Maggie Peterson, who held the roles of Doug Darling and Charlene Darling. James Best (Jim Lindsey) will also be on hand.
There are autograph sessions, screenings of show episodes, golf tourney and celebrity dinner at the local country club, live music, and Colonel Tim's Talent Time variety show. There's even a lecture by a college professor that features Bruce Bilson, assistant director of "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1960-63.
For the third straight year, Karen Knotts performs "Tied Up in Knotts," a tribute to her late father, Don Knotts, who played the role of Deputy Barney Fife.
Other activities include the Mayberry Days Parade, checkers tournament, championship barbecue cook-off, appearances by tribute artist David Browning (AKA the "Mayberry Deputy"), trivia contests, and a show with actor Ronnie Schell that includes a 2010 Mayberry Days documentary film directed by his son, Greg Schell.
Another draw is the Andy Griffith Museum, which opened in 2009 and holds the world's largest assemblage of Griffith memorabilia, collected by Griffith's close friend Emmett Forrest.
"Mayberry Days gives fans a chance to reminisce about the show and what it represents," says Jessica Icenhour, tourism director for Mount Airy. "We roll out the welcome mat and invite everyone to experience America's hometown."
For details on the schedule for the 22nd annual Mayberry Days Festival, call (336) 786-7998 or visit www.mayberrydays.org.
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