Mayberry Days History
Mayberry Days started in 1990 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show. The idea started at the estate auction of Frances Bavier, Aunt Bee, earlier that year and soon became something that "beat everything, you know that?" The late September date was selected to coincide with the original airing of the show on October 3, 1960. The first event was only one day, but its popularity over the years has expanded it to nearly a week full of family fun and entertainment.
Special guests who have attended the festival include cast members, producers, directors, and writers of The Andy Griffith Show. Always the family friendly festival, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers of the cast have attended over the years. In 2004, Andy Griffith returned to his hometown for a special appearance for the unveiling of the TV Land "Andy and Opie" statue in Mount Airy. Speaking of hometown, Betty Lynn was a guest of the festival for many years before deciding to move to Mount Airy and call it her home. She continues to make monthly appearances at the Andy Griffith Museum.
Doug Dillard has the distinct honor of being the guest who has made the most appearances, performing with The Doug Dillard Band every year up to his passing in 2012. Since then, The Dillards featuring Rodney Dillard have continued his tradition.
The festival has become an annual event on so many calendars, including those of cast members and their families, that Mayberry Days has become more like a large, activity-filled family reunion than just a festival. Demonstrating the enduring popularity of The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry Days has been attended by fans from every state and at least five foreign countries.
We are fortunate to have David Browning (The Mayberry Deputy) emcee many of the festival's events from 1992 until his retirement from festival work after the 2017 Mayberry Days. We are pleased that Allan Newsome (Floyd the Barber), who worked side by side with David for many years, continues to carry the Mayberry Days torch, along with a full troupe of fellow tribute artists, who enthusiastically help bring the fun of Mayberry to life. Whether emceeing a show, mingling with the crowds, or performing at Colonel Tim's Talent Time, the tribute artists always add wonderful Mayberry flavor to the festival.
Mayberry Days has evolved over the years to help keep the Mayberry spirit alive. As some events have come and gone, new traditions are born. With both youth and adult competitions, Mayberry trivia contests are one of the most popular traditions. Some of the questions will challenge even the sharpest trivia experts, so don't feel bad if you don't know most of the answers. Or if you just want to watch, that's always fun, too. (You just won't have a chance for a trophy and trivia prestige!)
The Surry Arts Council is proud to be the host of Mayberry Days and welcomes everyone and their families to come experience the "Mayberry spirit" firsthand. Some of our favorite memories are shared below.
Mayberry Days Photo Galleries
Mayberry Days Memories
George "Goober" Lindsey
Mayberry Days Outdoor Stage next to the Playhouse
Mayberry Days Parade
Darling sister & brother
Maggie Peterson and Doug Dillard
TAGS Writer Jack Elinson and wife Estelle
VW Boys opening for Doug Dillard
LeRoy McNees entertains other special guests at the Andy Griffith Playhouse
Howard Morris' first Mayberry Days
TAGS Writer Harvey Bullock at Prof. Brower's Lecture
Jim Clark and "Rabbit" at Pine Street
Mt. Pilot Judo Club Bowling Team
TAGS Music Director Earle Hagen
Wedding ceremony during the Mayor's Proclamation
behind the Old city Jail
Andy Griffith and the TV Land Statue
Elinor Donahue's first Mayberry Days
Emmett Forrest "The Keeper of the Flame"
Maggie Peterson and Betty Lynn
Lined up for autographs in front of the Andy Griffith Playhouse
"I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man on earth."
What's your hurry?
The Creatsters monkeying around at golf
Frank the finance
Mount Airy Choral at the Mayor's Proclamation
Allan Newsome and David Browning
Floyd the Barber and Mayberry Deputy
TAGSRWC Barney Chapter goes fishing
Behind the scenes at the SAC office
Doug Dillard showing off his inaugural Mayberry Day T-shirt
Karen Knotts' first
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Andy Griffith Museum
Betty Lynn at Colonel Tim's Talent Time
Bluegrass band The Grascals perform at the Mayor's Proclamation
Pickleland still going strong after 20 years
Doug Dillard, Ginger Boatwright
and Jimmy Vipperman
This was Doug's final Mayberry Days concert
The Embers perform at the Blackmon Amphitheatre
Michael Hoover and Elizabeth MacRae
Paired up like a racy team of buggy mules
An emotional Hometown Tribute
to Andy Griffith
Country Buffet at the Golf Dinner
The parade goes on rain or shine
George Lindsey Jr.'s first Mayberry Days
Dorothy and James Best (Jim Lindsey)
Grace Moravian Band performs at the
Hometown Tribute to Emmett Forrest
Russell Hiatt of Floyd's City Barbershop and
Mary Dowell of Snappy Lunch honored at
the Mayor's Proclamation
Paul Gustafson at Colonel Tim's Talent Time
Meet good friends at Mayberry Days
Able, Baker and Charlie
Tribute Artists close out Colonel Tim's