Full Schedule, Special Guests Highlight Mayberry Days Festival
More than a dozen folks with ties to "The Andy Griffith Show" will be honored guests this year at the 23rd annual Mayberry Days festival in Mount Airy.
The popular festival, which takes place Sept. 27-30, will also include a hometown tribute to native son Andy Griffith, who passed away in July.
This year's special guests include actors Betty Lynn, Maggie Peterson, Ronnie Schell, James Best and Dean Webb. Karen Knotts will be on hand to perform her stage show "Tied Up in Knotts," which commemorates the life of her father, Don Knotts, who played deputy Barney Fife.
Meanwhile, George Lindsey Jr. returns for his second year and will be part of a tribute to his late father, who played the role of Goober Pyle.
"This year's schedule of events is probably the largest we've ever had," said Tanya Jones, festival director. "Fans will have many opportunities to meet and greet the special guests, and enjoy Mayberry-themed performances. There will also be special events to honor the memory of those we've lost in the last year: Andy Griffith, George Lindsey and Doug Dillard."
For dedicated "Andy Griffith Show" fans, one of the neat aspects of Mayberry Days is the appearance of actors who made brief - yet memorable - appearances on the classic sitcom. This year's lineup includes Morgan Brittany (Opie's first love), Jackie Joseph (Ernest T. Bass's Sweet Romina), Margaret Kerry (Helen Scoby and Bess Muggins), and Peggy McCay, who portrayed Andy's high-school sweetheart at Andy's high school reunion.
Lynn, who was Thelma Lou on the show, will be grand marshal of Saturday's parade. She moved to Mount Airy in 2007 and is the local ambassador of all things Mayberry.
Music, always a big part of the show, plays a key role in Mayberry Days as well. Live shows are scattered throughout the festival, including the Doug Dillard Tribute concert at the Andy Griffith Playhouse on Friday, Sept. 28.
Mayberry Days concludes on Sunday morning with the "Hometown Tribute to Andy Griffith" at the Blackmon Amphitheatre at 9:30 a.m. The tribute will feature local musicians playing Griffith's Grammy-winning gospel hymns, led by the Grace Moravian Church Band. There will also be a sing-along for those in attendance.
For information, call (336) 786-7998, or go to www.
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