First Posted: 9/27/2009
Several months ago the Tourism Partnership of Surry County unveiled its new marketing campaign, built around the slogan Very Surry.
A few folks have questioned that over the intervening months, wondering just what Very Surry means.
This past weekend we all got to see.
This was the 20th annual Mayberry Days festival, a time when fans of The Andy Griffith Show descend on Mount Airy to relive memories from the show, see old friends, and just have a good time in a fun, family atmosphere.
They do this in Mount Airy because it is the hometown of Andy Griffith and, to a degree, parts of the fictional town of Mayberry was based on Mount Airy.
If you talk to people who frequent the festival, or even first-timers to the event, you hear the same words. Its like a family reunion, Mayberry people are good people, Its like returning to a time when life was simpler.
Of course, Mayberry doesnt really exist. Its a town that grew from the fertile imagination of Andy Griffith, then took on a life of its own in the minds of tens of thousands of Andy Griffith Show fans.
But it is based, in part, on reality. The people of Mayberry are friendly, they care about one another, they freely offer their kindness to others, and they remain in the memory long after they have gone.
Those traits absolutely describe the people of our community, the real life Mount Airy and Surry County.
This region is blessed with the natural beauty of the mountains and with a fair number of events and locations of historical significance. But in the end, what will truly make an impression on visitors, the thing that will keep them coming back, is the people.
And that is what the Very Surry campaign is all about.