Barbara Eden will pop in for Mayberry Days, Sept. 24-27 in Mount Airy, NC

Barbara Eden Will Pop In For Mayberry Days, Sept. 24-27

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – Barbara Eden and Clint Howard will make guest appearances at the 26th annual Mayberry Days festival, Sept. 24-27 in Andy Griffith’s hometown.

Both actors are visiting Mount Airy for the first time. Eden played the role of Mayberry’s first manicurist in a well-known episode, while Howard appeared in several episodes as Leon, a cowboy-hat wearing youngster who always had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his pocket.

“Barbara’s episode is among the most memorable and popular of all time. We’ve gotten a bunch of calls from fans,” said festival organizer Tanya Jones of the Surry Arts Council. “Clint is Ron Howard’s brother and was in several episodes, as well as many of his brother’s movies.”

The multi-day festival, which draws tens of thousands from across the U.S., pays tribute to Mount Airy’s role as inspiration for the idyllic town of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

Joining Eden and Howard this year is Bruce Bilson, assistant director of The Andy Griffith Show. Bilson also directed Eden in the movie Chattanooga Choo Choo. He will talk about that movie before a screening at the Earle Theatre, and will also appear at Professor Brower’s lecture about The Andy Griffith Show and share his memories of working with Griffith, Ron, Howard, Don Knotts and all the wonderful people associated with the classic sitcom.

Hometown sweetheart Betty Lynn, who played Barney Fife’s girlfriend Thelma Lou, will make several appearances, along with Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling); Morgan Brittany (Opie’s girlfriend Mary Alice Carter); Ronnie Schell (two different characters); George Lindsey Jr. (son of George “Goober” Lindsey), and several other actors from the show.

Rodney Dillard, one of the Darling Boys, will play a bluegrass concert, and Karen Knotts will perform “Tied Up in Knotts,” a one-person stage show she wrote in tribute to her late father.

Other activities include a golf tournament, Colonel Tim’s Talent Time, trivia contests, a barbecue cook-off, and the Mayberry Days Parade. Fans also enjoy meeting tribute artists like Mayberry Deputy David Browning, and attending the annual meeting of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC).

“Mayberry Days has grown in popularity every year. We feel it’s because the show is timeless and people are searching for a simpler, more wholesome time,” Jones said.

Mayberry Days is comprised of free and ticketed events spread over four days. For a complete schedule and details, call (336) 786-7998, or go to: www.mayberrydays.com.

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