One foursome participating in The Emmett Mayberry Days golf tournament Thursday admitted they hadn’t exactly burned up the fairways.
But “The Creatsters,” Allan Colyar, of Johnson City, Tennessee; Dean Colyar and Kevin Mullins, of Tullahoma, Tennessee; and Billy Good, of Pearisburg, Virginia; didn’t travel to Mount Airy for competition.
“It’s just a slow Mayberry weekend,” Dean Colyar said.
The group of friends have been attending Mayberry Days for more than two decades.
“I’ve been to every one,” Good said.
“We’re just huge fans of the show,” said Mullins.
Dressed in homemade plaid knickers and colorful socks, “The Creatsters” said in past years their costumes have included kilts, grass skirts and gorilla suits.
The 27th Mayberry Days officially began on Sept. 21, with some early concerts and shows, including a performance by The Embers at the Blackmon Amphitheater.
That show drew a crowd of about 800, according to Tanya Jones, executive director of the Surry Arts Council, which sponsors the annual five-day celebration of “The Andy Griffith Show.”
The golf tournament, held at Cross Creek Country Club, is the first event of the weekend where the special guests gather and can be greeted by fans and golfers.
The tournament is named for the late Emmett Forrest, a friend of Andy Griffith whose extensive collection of memorabilia formed the basis of the museum, and who always enjoyed the tournament.
David Browning, “The Mayberry Deputy,” led a brief kickoff to the tournament.
“It is truly an honor for us to be here,” Browning said, encouraging the crowd to give Jones and the SAC, “who just work themselves half to death to put this together,” a round of applause.
He introduced each special guest, who then spoke about his or her connection to “The Andy Griffith Show.”
First up was Mount Airy resident Betty Lynn, who portrayed Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
“I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time during Mayberry Days,” Lynn told the fans. “Please try to go to a lot of the things so we can get a chance to know you a bit.”
On Aug. 29, Lynn was honored in Mount Airy on her 90th birthday, and a special exhibit to her career was unveiled on the lower level of the Andy Griffith Playhouse next to the museum.
Browning mentioned the event.
“For those of you who did not get a chance to be here for a wonderful celebration a couple of weeks ago, lets all sing happy birthday,” he said.
The crowd broke into song – “Somebody is off,” Browning joked – and applauded the beloved star.
Ronnie Dapo, who appeared in three episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show,” as Arnold Winkler, set the tone for the next few days in Mayberry with his remarks.
Raising his microphone in salute, he told the fans, “Party.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.