MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Mayberry Days is still on this year despite the pandemic.
“Mayberry Days has never been about closing the streets and putting up vendors,” said Tanya Jones with the Surry Arts Council. “Its always been about sharing our town and the town that inspired Andy Griffith so you don’t cancel sharing your town.”
Jones said 2020 was slated to be their biggest year for the festival thanks to the classic TV show celebrating its 60th anniversary but COVID-19 regulations have forced them to scale it back.
“The show is more popular today than it has ever been,” she said. “Mayberry Days is still going to be special.”
Some of the Hollywood stars and musical guests won’t be here this year but some will and are adding more shows to accommodate the many people who originally bought tickets. The festival will not have a parade this year but the Grand Marshal Betty Lynn, better known as Barney’s girl Thelma Lou, won’t miss seeing the fans. She’ll be riding around town waiving and welcoming folks.
But the heart of what people love about the TV show and the town that inspired the show is the simplicity of small-town living which hasn’t stopped for the pandemic.
“A lot of Andy Griffith fans come each year to remind them of simpler times,” said Esther Cortez with Mayberry on Main, which sells Mayberry memorabilia. “Lot of people come here to just try and forget their problems and enjoy the simple living atmosphere.”
While it’s hard to predict attendance this year business owners may see a surprise turnout. Labor Day weekend brought record attendance to the Andy Griffith Museum as more people look to venture out and embrace the simpler time the pandemic has given us.
For a complete list of Mayberry Days event visit mayberrydays.com.