OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF The Andy Griffith Show RERUN WATCHERS CLUB
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Get ready for one of the nation's most heart-warming and fun family weekends as the Ninth Annual Mayberry Days celebration begins on Thursday, September 24 and ends on Saturday, September 26, in Andy Griffith's hometown of Mt. Airy, NC.
Continuing a favorite Mayberry Days tradition Doug Dillard (the banjo-playing Darling boy) and his band (featuring Ginger Boatwright) will make their ninth appearance
Mayberry Days organizers at the Surry Arts Council are also keeping their lingers crossed that popular Honorary Hosts from previous years, Richard O. Linke (Andy Griffith's former manager and TAGS associate producer) and his wife, Bettina, will be able to make it over from Hawaii again this year. (Other special guests are also being contacted but scheduling was incomplete as this issue of The Bullet was being loaded for firing.)
The basic Mayberry Days schedule follows below, but, when you arrive in Mt. Air, be sure to pick up a copy of the Surry Arts Council's free Mayberry Confidential newspaper to check for any schedule changes. For a two-hour overview of last year's Mayberry Days, you might "'ant to check out the Official 1997 Mayberry Days video, which just happens to be available in this issue of The Bullet. (We also still have a few of the 1996 festival videos.)
Here's this year's schedule:
The Mayberry Days Golf Tournament begins with the firing of Barney's one bullet at 1:30 p.m. at the Cross Creek Country Club. (Golfers should plan to arrive at the course no later than I p.m. in order to be "innarculated" and registered
You can either submit your own foursome or the tourney organizers will be glad to match you up with other players to make a congenial foursome. Either way, you need to register and pay in advance. The fee (which includes the chicken-pickin' banquet with bluegrass music and square dancing immediately following the tourney) is $75 per person and includes green fees, golf cart and a fun little assortment of local goodies. The tourney is limited to the first 72 players who-enter. Non-golfers can enjoy the chicken pickin' dinner and dance for $15.00. (It starts at 5 p.m. at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.)
After the golf and the banquet, lots off folks enjoy taking in the free screenings of Andy Griffith and/or Don Knotts movies at the Downtown Cinema. Favorites will include No Time for Sergeants and some of the movies Don made with Universal Studios right after he left TAGS in the 1960s.
When the rooster crows the neat morning, wake up to the smell of tenderloin biscuits, white sausage gravy and coffee at the Snappy Lunch (located at 125 N. Main Street in the heart of Mt. Airy's Mayberry Row) or any of the other fine local eateries.
After breakfast, the thing to do is stroll around town (be sure to say hey to Russell Hiatt at Floyd's City Barbershop). The barbershop is always a fascinating place to poke around in or just sit and loaf while visiting with Russell and fellow barbers Donna and Dewey (If you've been there before, you can try to find yourself among the thousands of photos on the wall. If this will be your first visit, Russell likely will take your photo and add you to his ever-growing montage of friends.)
Chances are - that just outside the barbershop you'll find friendly local artist Ed Camin and a manicurist, who are usually set up on the sidewalk in front of Floyd's. Then just meander among the shops on Main Street, but by all means be sure to see Emmett Forrest's exhibits of Andy Griffith memorabilia (including record albums, TV guides and even an actual Matlock suit) on display at the Mt. Airy Visitors Center (615 N Main Street) And also don't miss the arts and crafts booths (and bake sale items) on the grounds of the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
The first scheduled event of the day is the Mayor's Mayberry Days Proclamation In front of the Old City Jail (one block off Main Street) at 11 a.m. There's an always enjoy-able choral presentation by local high school students, plus look for a musical medley by Elvis impersonator Michael Hoover The Mayor will memorably present the key to the City and the festival will be official.
And what do you know! It's about time to eat again. By now the Snappy Lunch
will be grilling up its world famous pork chop sandwiches. (First-timers,
don't be alarmed by the line. It moves fast, and Charles Dowell has even
added a Snappy seating area on the other sale of Floyd's barbershop, where
you can eat If you're more concerned about just eating your pork chop sandwich
than you are about having to eat it in the original cafe.)
If you still need to work up an appetite (or if you just want to walk off a meal), you may want to take one oft he guided walking tours of the town (which depart regularly from the Andy Griffith Playhouse and fortuitously end at the Snappy Lunch). You also can play checkers at the playhouse or watch TAGS reruns and play bingo at the cinema. A nice souvenir for yourself (or to send to someone who can't attend Mayberry Days) is to get a postcard or letter stamped with the official Mayberry Days postmark (the post office is only half a block from the Snappy Lunch).
Between the hours of noon and 2 p.m., It's refreshing to take a break and join the relaxing fun (and enjoy the punch and cookies) at Mrs. Wiley's Tea Party (at the William Alfred Moore House, located directly across the street from the parking lot in front of the Old City Jail).
Right after Mrs. Wiley's (at 2:15 p.m.) at the Visitors Center, final judging will take place for the Mayberry Garden Club's Annual Flower Show. (Floyd will be there 10 defend his title in the pansy division.)
The next scheduled event is a matinee bluegrass concert by The Doug Dillard Band at 3 p.m. at the playhouse. It costs just $8 per ticket to hear some of the best music any-where performed by bluegrass music legends Doug Dilated and Ginger Boatwright and their talented sidemen, including Mt. Airy's own fiddling virtuoso Jim Vipperman
The Andy Griffith Playhouse also is the location for the Annual Mayberry Days Trivia Contest at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, or immediately after Doug Dillard's afternoon concert. The format will be the same as the last three years-live questions and answers and not the written test that was used several years ago. The highly competitive contest has become known as the Super Bowl of Mayberry Trivia. Anybody is eligible to enter. (And it's just as much fun to watch and play along silently-even if you don't want to officially compete.)
Next on the agenda, at 6 p.m. at the playhouse, is the crowning of the Mayberry Days Pork Queen (not to mention Little Miss Piggy, Junior Miss Ham Hock and others) as part of the 14th Annual North Carolina Championship Barbecue Cook-Off. Showmanship judging for the barbecue championship also will begin at this time.
The day wraps up in spectacular fashion with the evening concert by the Doug Dillard Band at 7p.m. with reserved seating tickets for $12. Advance reservations are strongly recommended because it's always a sell-out. Alter the evening concert, It's pretty much time to call it a night and rest up for the most action-packed day of the weekend.
Saturday begins with the Mayberry Days Parade as it rolls down Main Street beginning at 9 a.m. It's perhaps the most festive part of the whole weekend. (This year there will be a seven-foot pork chop to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Snappy Lunch!)
After the parade is the perfect time to browse around and enjoy the charms of Mt. Airy, Or, if you prefer, the Little Miss Mayberry Pageant ($5 per ticket; $3 for seniors and students), begins at 11 a.m. at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
Also, be sure to take in one of the three slows at the play-house by Chipper and Jasper, Larry Faulk's theme song whistling cockatiels. There also will be live music and other performances, crafts and Aunt Bee's Bake Sale outside the playhouse throughout the day, and activities for kids will be taking place around the playhouse. And stop by the Visitor Center between 11 a.m. and 4p.m. to hear music by the Grass Stains.
At noon, the North Carolina Championship Barbecue Cook-Off Awards will be presented at the playhouse. Following the awards, at 12:30 p.m. at the playhouse, the first Mayberry Days Horseshoe Contest gets throwing.
At 2 p.m., the annual Mayberry Days Pie-Eating Contest will be held up on
Main Street at the Mt. Airy Visitors Center. Come ready to gobble against
the likes of two-time (and defending) champ Big Red Shoemaker and the fierce
eaters such as Bob "Blue Devil" Dennany and showmen such as Shelton "The
Inhaler" Fields. Aprons and wash cloths will be provided.
The next scheduled activity is a free, hour-long Lecture by Neal Brower at 3:30 p.m. at the Downtown Cinema. If you enjoy Neal's wonderful columns in The Bullet (and his brand new, outstanding book, Mayberry 101, absolutely do not miss this session. Neal's lectures (including lots of well-chosen film clips) are always insightful and touching This year's topic will be "Seldom Scenes." The formal lecture will be followed by questions and answers from the audience.
At 5:30 p.m., right after Neal's lecture, the Annual TAGSRWC Dinner/Meeting begins In the same location as the lecture (Downtown Cinema). The dinner/meeting costs $12 to eat or $5 just to attend. The special treat for this year's meal will he helpings of First Prize-winning barbecue of the NC Championship Barbecue Cook-Off!
The meeting is intended as a casual forum for any Mayberry fan who has questions or comments pertaining to chapters or the operation of the club in general. Chapters and members at large are encouraged to share informal oral reports about what they've been doing regarding Mayberry during the last year.
The day's not nearly over yet! The grand finale is Colonel Tim's Talent Time,
which gets under
The day's not nearly over yet! The grand finale is Colonel Talent Time, which gets underway at the Andy Griffith Playhouse at 7p.m. Reserved seating tickets are $20 and $15. David Browning will again serve as the master of ceremonies, and among the talents to look for are Allan Newsome, Phil Lee, fiddler Melvin, Chipper the whistling bird, Tipper the talking dog, Alma the singing Bee, the Mayberry Day's Choir and did someone say Elvis?! (The Surry Arts Council requests that anyone interested in being part of the talent show contact them well before Mayberry Days actually begins.)
Things will keep on rolling when, sometime around 10 p.m., the second annual Mayberry Days Bowling Tournament begins.
You're invited to enter as a team of four (and even to makeup your own bowling team uniforms) for $75. You can also register as an individual for $20, in which case you will be placed with a team.
Teams of four will compete for First-, Second-and Third-Place trophies. (And some low-voltage team will win the Power Failure Award for the worst score.) Other awards are the Emmett's Style Award for the team with the best outfits, the Howard Sprague Showmanship Award for the player 'with the most outstanding bowling technique, the Rudyand Kipling Award for the individual player with the best score, plus all sorts of other prizes for who knows what all.
After the bowling. It'll finally he time to go back to the Mayberry Motor Inn (or wherever you're staying) for a good nights sleep. Actually; the Mayberry Motor Inn (phone 336-789-4109) is usually booked up months in advance for Mayberry Days. Other popular places for lodging are: Staying with Blanche at the Callaway Motel (a.k.a. Callaway Gardens; phone (336-786-4l95), the Comfort Inn (336-789-2000), the Hampton Inn (336-789-5999), the Pine Ridge Inn (336-789-5034), the Holly Inn Motel (336-786-387), the Surry Inn (336-366-3000), Pilot Knob Bed & Breakfast (336-325-5034) and the Hollows (336-789-4868).
The Ninth Annual Mayberry Days offers more things to do than ever before. For tickets or more information write to:
Mayberry Days, Surry Arts Council, PO Box 141, Mt. Airy, NC 27030. (Make checks payable to Surry Arts Council.) Or you can call toll-free 800-286-6193, or by regular phone at 336-786-7998 for credit card orders. Either way, make your plans today to be part of Mayberry Days 1998!
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