The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s amazing collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, is celebrating last summer’s truly dazzling remodeling. The museum is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 19: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 1:00-3:00 p.m. She will have 8 x 10 photos available for autographing ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 19-21: 7th Annual Mayberry Meet-Up in Mount Airy, N.C. Here’s the link to more info on the event’s Facebook page, and here’s a link (also on the Facebook page) to the online registration form. The event coincides nicely (and not by accident) with Betty Lynn’s meet-and-greet at the Andy Griffith Museum on Friday (see above) and Neal Brower’s lecture at the Museum on Saturday (see below).
* July 20: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower’s second summer lecture about TAGS finds him talking about “The Education of Ernest T. Bass,” starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with Andy Griffith Museum admission ($8 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and under). Visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 27: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at Hazzard Fest at Rogersville City Park in Rogersville, Tenn. For info, visit www.hazzardfest.com.
* Aug. 10: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower wraps up his summer lecture series about TAGS with a discussion of the “Andy’s English Valet” episode, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with Andy Griffith Museum admission ($8 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and under).
Visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Sept. 19: Karen Knotts performs “Tied Up in Knotts” at a luncheon show from 1:30 to 3:30 at Wright’s Chicken Farm Restaurant in Harrisville, R.I. The cost is $69 for the all-inclusive round-trip motorcoach that is part of part of a group tour, or $45 for just the luncheon and show (drive yourself). For more info visit www.travelgrouptrips.com.
* Sept. 23-29: 30th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Tickets are already available for many of the week’s events, including for concerts by Rodney Dillard & the Dillard Band and by LeRoy “Mack” McNees & Friends, a presentation by Ronnie Schell (two episodes and Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”) of his Comedy Revue and Special Tribute to Andy Griffith, and a presentation of “A Deputy’s Daughter” by Karen Knotts (daughter of Don).
Other TAGS stars confirmed so far include Mount Airy’s own Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling), Clint Howard (Leon), Keith Thibodeaux (Opie’s pal Johnny Paul Jason), Dennis Rush (Opie’s pal Howie), Joy Ellison (Mary Wiggins and five others), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), Calvin Peeler (Martin Barton on “Mayberry R.F.D.”) and Bruce Bilson (assistant director for Seasons 1 and 2).
Also attending will be Bettina Linke (wife of associate producer Richard O. Linke), Laura Hagen (wife of music director Earle Hagen) and Dreama Denver (wife of Bob “Gilligan” Denver, who played Dud Wash in “Divorce Mountain Style”).
Tickets are also available for The Emmett Golf Tournament (and the dinner and entertainment featuring comedian Henry Cho), performances by Ballet Magnificat (Christian ballet company operated by Kathy and Keith Thibodeaux), country music star Collin Raye, bluegrass award-winners The Grascals, the bluegrass comedy of The VW Boys, plus The Embers, Envision, and Legacy Motown Revue, as well as comedy performances by John Floyd (The Mouth of Mayberry) and James Gregory (“The Funniest Man in America”). Tickets are also available for Professor Brower’s Lecture/TAGSRWC Meeting and Colonel Tim’s Talent Time. Also attending this year is Dick Atkins, producer of Murder in Coweta County, starring Andy Griffith and Johnny Cash.
Other guest stars and much more are TBA. For advance tickets (order early and get those extra-good seats!), visit www.mayberrydays.com. And of course, much of Mayberry Days, including assorted contests and performances and the parade, don’t require a ticket.
* Oct. 12: Rodney Dillard & the Dillard Band bring their Mayberry Moments show to Marion, Va., as part of the “Song of the Mountains” TV show.
* Nov. 2-7: Cruise to Mayberry 14 sets sail with Ronnie Schell (two episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” and also Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”) and Dixie Griffith (daughter of Andy) and a boatload of Mayberry tribute artists aboard Carnival’s Sunshine from Charleston to Nassau and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. For good measure, Elvis impersonator Wayne Euliss and bluegrass band Cane Mill Road will also entertain.
For more info, e-mail cruise organizer Sharon Euliss of All About Cruises at PWESJE@aol.com or call her at (336) 538-4926.