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Mount Airy’s plan for life after Mayberry

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- Life after Mayberry. Barney would say "nip it" when it comes to that thought but it is something tourism officials in the Surry County city today think about and plan for.

"We know that Mayberry is the attraction here, however, we are preparing for the future," said Jessica Roberts, the director of tourism. "We are branded as Mayberry and any small town in America would like to have that."

In addition to the brand Mayberry, she is working to highlight many of the areas other attractions including the wineries, food, parks, Blue Ridge Mountains and local music showcased in the annual fiddler's convention. "It brings in people from as far away as Japan to come here to play that old time music and to hear that sound."

Mayberry's tourism is what brought Craig Deas to town in 2015.

"Andy Griffith is the reason we came," Deas said. "But the people of Mount Airy and this part of North Carolina kept us here."

Deas quit his job in Ohio to move and open the sports bar, "The Loaded Goat" in downtown. "I think this town has done a great job of focusing on other things that will bring people here who are still going to want to come here and feel like they are in Mayberry."

Promoting new things while in Mayberry is what it's all about as new generations of fans continue to come along.

"While it still airs on TV Land and ... around the world," said Roberts. "It's going to continue to be the draw for us here."

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