But let’s back up a bit. Event Director Tanya Jones with help from Terri Forrest Champney, and a host of others, promise a great time for, all with plenty to do. Thanks so much to these ladies and the staff that work all year long for this great event. This year, events for Mayberry Days start on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. Monday has music and a comedian, John Floyd…and of course the newly renovated Andy Griffith Museum, which is open daily. Tuesday has repeat performances of the music and comedy, and adds a performance by The Embers at the Blackmon Amphitheatre. Wednesday, it the day the Post Office starts using the postmark of Mayberry on any cards and letters you send (a pretty cool souvenir to send to yourself)! Also the Caribbean Chillers will perform at the Blackmon in the evening. The big event on Thursday is The Emmett, (named in honor of Andy’s longtime friend and Museum creator, Emmett Forrest) aka the Mayberry Days Golf Tournament. Followed by a great 2:30 pm show - Margaret Kerry: Tinkerbell Meets Andy Griffith show at the Historic Earle Theatre. The Mayberry Days Dinner and Entertainment after the golf tournament is at 4:30 pm. The Tams perform at the Blackmon at 8:00 pm. Friday it really starts to crank up…with the Horseshoe Pitching contest, and the Mayors Proclamation…officially opening the Mayberry Days festivities. Here is where you can firs see and hear from the stars: “Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Rodney Dillard (and the current Dillards’ Band), Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling), Clint Howard (Leon), Ronnie Schell (two episodes and also Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.), "LeRoy Mack" McNees (two episodes as the Dobro-playing Country Boy), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), Joy Ellison (Mary Wiggins and others), Bettina Linke (wife of late associate producer Richard O. Linke), Karen Knotts, and George Lindsey Jr.”  And other notables may end up coming and surprising us as well…even a chance to meet Andy Griffith’s daughter, Dixie. And of course, the Mayberry Deputy and all of the other Tribute Artists will be on hand. Afterwards, shows by Karen Knotts, Rodney Dillard and Ronnie Schell are “don’t miss” events…no matter if you’ve seen them before or not. A pork chop eating contest, Aunt Bee’s Bake Sale, Mrs. Wiley’s Tea, Pie Eating contests are all good to see.
At 3:30 pm…Memories of Elvis with Michael Hoover is an outstanding concert. Also at the Blackmon Amphitheatre, the Mayberry Minutemen Youth Trivia Contest starts, followed by the World championship of TAGS Trivia, officiated by the Tribute Artists at 4:30 pm. So you think YOU KNOW MAYBERRY??? I did too, until the first time I participated in the Trivia Contest, and only got a small number correct. It is a site to behold if you’ve not seen one. Be there!
Right after we generally get together and take a picture with the online chapters and web page groups. Come and meet those that you interact with online as part of the Mayberry family.
Also at 4:30 pm, Leroy Mack will perform his concert at the Andy Griffith Theatre. (He was one of the “country boys” Band that appeared and played in the “Mayberry on Record” episode. Another great show to see. At 5:30, the Barbeque Judging starts. At 7:00 pm The Malpass Brothers perform and James Gregory “The Funniest Man in America” goes on at 8:00 pm. At 9:30, a wonderful show and concert is on stage at the Historic Earle Theatre…The VW Boys.
Saturday is BIG. I mean Big BIG! The Mayberry Days Parade starts at 9:00 pm. People will line the streets “10 deep” for about 2/3 of a mile…so get there early and claim your spot. Then there’s Horseshoe Pitching, Goober Says Hay Bale Throwing, Barbeque, Vendors at the Playhouse, a big Silent Auction of Mayberry collectibles, another Karen Knotts Show, Mayberry Idle Talent Show, Chester Jones Checkers Tournament, a Corn Hole Toss Championship, and Professor Brower’s Lecture and TAGS Meeting. The Squad Car Tours, a visit to Wally’s Filling Station and a stop into the Courthouse are all great attractions! There will be Autograph Sessions with some of the stars below the Andy Griffith Museum starting around 11:00 am until.
There are two Big Shows of Col. Tim’s Talent Time at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. (These usually sell out so get your tickets now). These shows will feature many of the stars from the series, as well as the Tribute Artists performing and reenacting some of your favorite comedy skits from the show. Among the Tribute Artists expected to attend and perform at Mayberry Days are: The Mayberry Deputy (David Browning), Allan “Floyd” Newsome, Kenneth “Otis” Junkin, Phil “Ernest T” Fox, Jeff “Howard Sprague” Branch, Michael “Gomer” Oliver, Tim “Goober” Pettigrew, Keith “Col. Harvey” Brown, Christie “Andylina” McLendon, Eric “Mayor Pike” Lowry, Bob “Briscoe” Mundy, Ted “Mr. Wheeler/Mr. McBeevee” Womack, Eli “Opie” Austin, Alma “Aunt Bee” Venable, Rick “The Jinx, Henry Bennett” Grimsley, Dennis “Mr. Schwump” Beales, Michelle “Skippy” Bryson, Dixie “Daphne” Griffith, Mike “Sgt. Carter” Haviland, and Ronnie “Salt and Pepper Barney” Felker, and his wife Elease “Thelma Lou” Felker. There will a host of other tributes that may be coming as well…Bo “Briscoe” Pierce, Ken “Barney” Anderson, Phil “Ernest T” Lee…and even Mr. Jim Clark...author and the "Head Goober" that started all of this...so do keep your eyes peeled.
Another concert at the Blackmon at 7:30 featuring Balsam Range.
Sunday concludes the festival but has several enjoyable events including Mayberry Days Chapel at the Blackmon at 9:30 am, some more music throughout the day and a special movie showing at 4:00 and 7:00 pm. And music by the Lisemby Family at 6:30 at the Blackmon.
So “Why Go to Mayberry Days?”…the biggest event for Mayberry Fans all year long? A better question my friends is “Why in the world would you not go to Mayberry Days?”