For more than two decades, the organizers of Mount Airy’s annual Mayberry Days festival have wooed visitors “who long for the days when life was simple and the sheriff didn’t carry a gun,” according to USA Today. The sheriff in question — Mount Airy native Andy Griffith, who played Mayberry lawman Andy Taylor in the beloved TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show — died in July at age 86. And, says Surry Arts Council’s executive director, Tanya Jones, “We get asked all the time whether we think interest will decline after his passing. The answer is an emphatic ‘no.’” In fact, says Jones, tourism at Mayberry’s alter ego is up sharply since the actor’s death. About 10,400 people visited the Andy Griffith Museum in July, almost double the 5,300 who visited the same month a year earlier, and the town expects about 30,000 acolytes to show up for the Sept. 27-30 Mayberry Days.
USA Today: Celebrating Andy Griffith’s legacy at Mayberry Days Sept 27th – 30th
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