• Stars come out for Mayberry Days in Andy Griffith's hometown


    Celebrate all things Mayberry in the hometown of Andy Griffith at Mount Airy’s 28th annual Mayberry Days. The festival, happening Sept. 18 – 24, will feature eight actors who appeared on “The Andy Griffith Show” plus more special guests.

    The list of actors includes Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling), Clint Howard (Leon), Rodney Dillard (Rodney Darling), Ronnie Schell (Bernie, the Furrier), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins), LeRoy Mack (The Country Boys) and Joy Ellison (Betsy).

    All actors will make appearances and sign autographs throughout Mayberry Days, while Schell, Kerry, Dillard and Mack will perform ticketed shows.

    Joining in the fun is Karen Knotts, daughter of Don Knotts (Deputy Barney Fife). She will perform two shows in tribute of her father: “A Deputy’s Daughter” and “Tied Up in Knotts.”

    Other notables include George Lindsey Jr., son of the actor who played Goober, and Bettina Linke, wife of associate producer Richard O. Linke.

    Once again handling the master of ceremonies role throughout the festival will be David Browning, better known as the Mayberry Deputy.

    Mayberry Days starts two days earlier this year, with activities on Monday and Tuesday anchored by shows from nationally-known comedian John Floyd, also known as The Mouth of Mayberry. The earlier part of the week will also be a good time for fans to tour the remodeled Andy Griffith Museum, which re-opened in late June after a $500,000 renovation.

    As always, bluegrass and country music will play a big part of Mayberry Days. Rodney Dillard, a member of the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame, will play a concert honoring his late brother, Doug. Balsam Range, winner of two IMBA Entertainer of the Year awards, will perform, as will the popular Malpass Brothers, known for their traditional country sound.

    The most-attended event is always Saturday morning’s Mayberry Days parade. It features all the special guests, along with many planned and unplanned Mayberry-themed floats and cars.

    “In addition to the special events, many folks come to take a step back in time and enjoy a slower pace of life,” says festival organizer Tanya Jones of the Surry Arts Council. “They play checkers, eat barbecue, drink a bottle of pop and have a reunion with fans of the show.”

    For more info on Mayberry Days, visit mayberrydays.com or call (336) 786-7998.

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