On Friday morning, the stars who had a role in making “The Andy Griffith Show” all came out to say hello to the show’s fans during the Mayberry Days opening ceremony at the Blackmon Amphitheatre.
The ceremony included the reading of a proclamation by Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran. She said that Mayberry Days is a way to honor Andy Griffith. She also said the city of Mount Airy wanted to commend everyone who makes Mayberry Days happen every year.
Cochran teased the emcee for the event, David Browning the Mayberry Deputy, by saying that he wears more make-up than her.
“There ain’t no way I could wear that much make-up,” said Cochran.
Browning replied, “Spatula,” meaning that’s what Cochran must use to put on her make-up.
Browning said he has been coming to Mayberry Days for 22 years. He said he was thankful for the show because it created a career for him playing the Mayberry Deputy.
“I need to thank the folks who created it for putting all of my kids through college,” said Browning.
George Lindsey Jr. said he was glad to be here this year.
“He (his father, who played Goober Pyle on the show) would be proud that I’m here representing,” said Lindsey.
Karen Knotts said her father always talked a lot about the fans of the show.
“I’m glad to be here to carry on the tradition,” said Knotts.
LeRoy McNees, who was in the TAGS episode, “Mayberry on the Record,” said he was glad to be back in Mount Airy.
“It’s like a family reunion without the fights,” said McNees.
James Best, who played Jim Lindsey on the show, said that he loves coming back to Mayberry Days year after year.
George Spence, who played Frank the finance, said he was glad to see everyone again.
Margaret Kerry, who played both Bess Muggins and Helen Scoby on the show, said Mount Airy was having “Walt Disney” weather on Friday.
Peggy McCay, who made her first Mayberry Days appearance this year, said she gave Griffith his first on-screen kiss. McCay now plays Caroline Brady on “Days of Our Lives,” and she also appeared in one episode of TAGS as Griffith’s girlfriend in the high school reunion episode. She wore the jacket that she wore in that episode during the ceremony.
“I love the warmth here and the way you honor Andy. We love you, Andy,” said McCay.
Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou, showed off her certificate that proves that she is an honorary citizen of Mayberry. She also thanked Tanya Jones, executive director of the Surry Arts Council, and all of her volunteers for putting on Mayberry Days every year.
Jackie Joseph, who played Ernest T. Bass’ girlfriend Sweet Romeena, said she knew the opening ceremony would be heartfelt and significant because of those who passed away this year.
Maggie Peterson, who played Charlene Darling, said she knows that those who died this year are now smiling down on those in attendance. She said she was wearing the same dress she wore at the 35th anniversary of the show at a cast reunion held in Winston-Salem.
Dean Webb, who played the mandolin in the Darlings band, said he was happy to be here this year for the first time.
Traci Hamilton, of Workforce Carolina, played the role of Potato Queen this year. She was escorted in by Ken Junkin, an Otis Campbell tribute artist.
Cochran presented McCay and Webb with a key to the city.
Michael Hoover, an Elvis tribute artist, lead those in attendance in the singing of “Dixieland” before the ceremony came to a close.
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.