CharactersExperienced tribute artists from all over the country will reprise some of the show’s iconic roles such as Barney Fife, Gomer, Goober, Floyd the barber, Ernest T. Bass and many others. I have personally seen some of these artists in action, and they are the absolute best at what they do. At Mayberry in the Midwest, the tribute artists will tie the festival together staying involved with virtually every aspect of the weekend including performing skits on stage, mingling with the crowd, posing for pictures and signing autographs.
Living LegendsTwo actors who had roles on the original show will be here as well. Maggie Peterson Mancuso, who played Charlene Darling on the show and is now 73, and Rodney Dillard, who was the Darling brother who played the guitar on the show and will celebrate his 72nd birthday that weekend, plan to be here to meet fans. Dillard, who is now a minister and still performs with a band, will even host a concert Saturday night in Ellis Park and provide a church service on Sunday morning at West Bridge Church, which is located just outside of Danville at 1521 S. County Road 75 West.
Fun ContestsThis two-day festival will have loads of fun, family activities including numerous contests that are open to the public. Here are just a few that jumped out at me:
- Miss Mayberry – Participants have to be 16 years and older and as of this writing only four spots remained. Similar to a beauty contest with some Mayberry flair, tribute artists will determine the winner.
- Barney’s Quick Draw – Participants must be at least 12 years old to compete to see who is the fastest to hit a target.
- Citizen’s Arrest – Contestants 16 years and older compete to see how many audience members they can arrest and put in jail.
- Goober & Gomer’s Pit Stop – Teams of two who must be 16 or older compete against the clock while doing pit stop-related tasks on a parked Mayberry squad car.
- Ernest T’s Bride – I’m sure this contest is one our special guest Maggie Peterson Mancuso can relate to! Contestants will compete to become or avoid becoming Ernest T’s bride. Wearing a wedding dress is required, and the Ernest T. Bass tribute artist will choose the winner.