First Posted: 9/21/2009
This is a big weekend for Mount Airy. It is, of course, the annual Mayberry Days, which started as a small-town festival two decades ago.
It has since morphed into a nationally known, if not internationally known, festival that brings together fans of The Andy Griffith Show. More importantly it brings together friends who enjoy the quiet, simple lifestyle espoused in that show, where family, friends and community were among the most important things in a persons life.
The festival also shows what can happen with a little dreaming and a lot of hard work. The first Mayberry Days started out, organizers will tell you, as a commemoration of the shows start nearly thirty years earlier. It wasnt necessarily thought of as something which would grow into an annual event.
But it has, with thousands of people flocking to the city every year since, and as Mount Airys reputation has grown as the center of the Mayberry universe those tourist visits have become something which occurs nearly every day of the year.
And now, on Saturday, another long-coming event will kick off the Mayberry Days festivities with the grand opening of the Andy Griffith Museum.
This facility will house a growing collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, much of it centered around The Andy Griffith Show. It will also serve as place for displays honoring the areas rich tradition in old time and blue grass music, which was also featured on the show from time to time.
More importantly, it will serve as still another reason for visitors to come to Mount Airy, for a fuller and richer Mayberry experience.
And perhaps most importantly, like the entire festival, it shows what happens when people roll up their sleeves and simply work. The museum has long been a dream of a number of area folks, most notably those associated with the Surry Arts Council, the tourism industry, and friends of Griffith. There have been sometimes vocal opponents to the museums construction, and a number of roadblocks and setbacks.
But the museum supporters have never wavered, and Saturday marks the coming alive of their dream.