Mayberry in the Midwest returns

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focus-briefs-042516-15col.jpg Tribute artists portray characters from Mayberry at this Danville festival.(Photo courtesy of Visit Hendricks County)

The Mayberry in the Midwest festival returns to Danville from May 20-22 for a third year with its usual brand of wacky fun.

The quiet Hendricks County seat transforms into the iconic 1960s fictional community that was home to Andy and Opie Taylor, Aunt Bee and Barney Fife. A former cast member, tribute artists and other entertainment “will take visitors on a journey to experience life in Mayberry,” said Visit Hendricks County spokesman Josh Duke.

The last two years, the event drew thousands of visitors from across the country, and local hospitality officials expect attendance to grow this year.

The three-day festival will surround the historic Hendricks County courthouse square with activities that include a Mayberry parade on May 21, Opie’s World for kids, Tractor Town, Squad Car Nationals, reruns of the show on the big screen at the Royal Theater, contests, live music, and food and vendor booths.

Original “The Andy Griffith Show” cast member Maggie Peterson Mancuso, who portrayed Charlene Darling, returns. Tribute artists will reprise many of the show’s most popular characters including Barney, Goober, Gomer, Floyd the Barber, Ernest T. Bass and others will sign autographs, mingle with the crowd, and perform on stage.•

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