MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — It’s no secret where fans of the Andy Griffith Show can get a taste of Mayberry.
Each September, thousands flock to Griffith’s childhood hometown for the Mayberry Days festival. This year it’s getting some competition.
“When we have Mayberry days around here we have people from all over come in here,” said longtime resident Ralph Johnson.
An eight-hour drive away in Danville, Ind., local residents are getting ready for a Mayberry Days of their own called “Mayberry in the Midwest.”
“That far away? It won’t bother us,” said lifelong resident Benston Kirkman. “They won’t have the real thing.”
Danville, Ind. – similar in size to Mount Airy – plans to have some of the surviving cast members and many of the same impersonators that typically attended Mayberry Days.
“It will stay here,” said Mount Airy resident Patsy Bobbitt. “They can try but it won’t have the soul and heart that we have here.”
Many have speculated that with the death of Andy Griffith and a generation of fans dwindling, the economic drive behind Mayberry wouldn’t last much longer. But many believe with another town wanting a piece of that Mayberry pie, the small town brand, must still be working.