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.
Mayberry Days® Is Here Again!
* 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.”; his first-ever Mayberry event), Gary Nelson (director of “Malcolm at the Crossroads” episode; his first Mayberry Days) and Bruce Bilson (assistant director for Seasons 1 and 2).
Also attending will be Bettina Linke (wife of associate producer Richard O. Linke), Dreama Denver (wife of Bob “Gilligan” Denver, who played Dud Wash in “Divorce Mountain Style”), and Stark Howell and Cort Howell (sons of Hoke Howell, who played Dud Wash in the first two Darlings episodes).
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 with Bruce Bilson/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, and directed by Gary Nelson.
For advance tickets), visit www.mayberrydays.com. And of course, many parts of Mayberry Days, including assorted contests and performances and the parade, don’t require a ticket.
* Oct. 5: 20th Annual Fall Celebration in Granville, Tenn. Mayberry is the theme this year as the town’s Clover Street transforms into Mayberry’s Main Street and this year’s Scarecrow Festival (which runs all of October) features scarecrows of favorite Mayberry characters. For more info, visit www.granvilletn.com.
* 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.