The Mayberry in the Midwest Festival will mark a milestone year by adding new attractions and new characters to the same fun and zaniness of the popular three-day event.
The typically quiet Hendricks County seat of Danville, Indiana, will again transform into the iconic 1960s fictional community that was home to Andy, Opie, Aunt Bee and Barney for Mayberry in the Midwest, May 18–20. Three former cast members, including one who has never appeared at the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival, entertaining tribute artists and other activities, will take visitors on a journey to experience life in Mayberry.
The fifth annual festival begins with the annual Meet & Greet Dinner from 6–9 p.m. May 18 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex. One of the festival’s few ticketed events, the Meet & Greet allows participants to mingle with the former cast members, children of former cast members and the Tribute Artists, who reprise many of the show’s most popular characters including Barney, Gomer and Floyd the barber.
Mayberry celebrities in attendance during the Meet & Greet include former cast members:
- Margaret Kerry, who will be attending the festival for the first time and in addition to appearing on two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show also served as Walt Disney’s original Tinkerbell model.
- Ronnie Schell, who appeared in two episodes and starred in Gomer Pyle: USMC opposite Jim Nabors.
- Maggie Peterson Mancuso, a festival regular who portrayed Charlene Darling on the show.
Dixie Griffith, Andy Griffith’s daughter, and George Lindsey Jr., whose father played Goober on the show, also will appear.
The festival officially kicks off on Saturday around the historic Hendricks County Courthouse Square with numerous themed activities including the popular Mayberry parade on Saturday morning, Opie’s World for kids, Tractor Town, reruns of the show on the big screen at the historic Royal Theater, contests, demonstrations at the Hendricks County Historical Museum and food and vendor booths. Kerry, Schell and Peterson Mancuso will also make appearances as will the tribute artists signing autographs and performing on stage.
Other activities at this year’s festival include:
- Q&A with Charlene Darling – For the first time in the five-year history of this event, Peterson Mancuso will participate in a free, question-and-answer session from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Royal Theater.
- A Tribute to Jim Nabors – Schell will share his memories working closely with Nabors at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Crawley Business Center above the Visit Hendricks County offices on the northeast side of the square. This is a ticketed event.
- Live entertainment – Multiple bluegrass bands will perform both days on the free stage headlined by local country favorite, Levi Riggs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, to purchase tickets or to see the weekend’s complete schedule, visit MayberryintheMidwest.com.