MOUNT AIRY, N.C.—Each year, fans of the Andy Griffith Show flock to Mount Airy, North Carolina for Mayberry Days. The event this weekend is the first since Griffith's death, and the city is bracing for a big crowd.
Griffith grew up in Mount Airy, and local landmarks like Snappy Lunch found their way into the popular program. Mayberry Days has been a popular draw there for more than 20 years, but 2012 brought an outpouring of emotion, after Griffith died at his home in Manteo on July 3rd.
Bob Meinecke is a volunteer with the Visitors Center in Mount Airy. "The show has had such a long lasting effect on people, that they are literally mourning the death," Meinecke told us in a telephone interview. "And we get calls every day. People just wanting to share their thoughts. So it's an amazing experience."
Sunday morning, the festival has scheduled a Hometown Tribute to Andy Griffith. And the event will also honor the memory of others who've died in the last year including George Lindsey, who played Goober Pyle, Doug Dillard the bluegrass musician and member of the Darling family, and Charles Dowell the longtime owner of Snappy Lunch.