Hendricks County will serve up a heaping helping of nostalgia this spring with a two-day festival devoted to “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Titled “Mayberry in the Midwest,” the festival will pay homage to TV’s paean to small-town life with contests, a parade, a concert, a pancake breakfast and tribute acts. The event will take place May 17-18, primarily in downtown Danville in the Hendricks County Courthouse Square.
The idea for the festival grew out of Danville’s Mayberry Cafe, a themed restaurant owned by Brad and Christine Born.
“For years, people would ask us why we didn’t have a Mayberry-themed festival here in town,” Christine Born said. “We have been thinking about this for a while, because the Mayberry theme really meshes well with Danville’s hometown values.”
The Borns and local merchants' group Downtown Danville Partnership are staging the festival, which will include appearances from two original cast members—Maggie Peterson, who played Charlene Darling, and Rodney Dillard, who portrayed one of the Darling boys.
Several tribute artists also will appear, mimicking popular characters such as Barney Fife, Floyd the barber, Otis, Goober, Gomer and Ernest T. Bass. Contests will include such events as Barney’s Quick Draw, Miss Mayberry, Opie Look-A-Like, Opie’s Fish Toss, Aunt Bee’s Pie Eating Contest and a checkers tournament.
Organizers expect thousands of people to attend. They reaped some inspiration from similar festivals held annually in North and South Carolina.
Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C.—Andy Griffith’s home town—will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It typically attracts 25,000 to 30,000 people.