Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mt. Airy embraces roll as 'Mayberry'

Last weekend, I visited Mount Airy for the first time.  The town is the birthplace and childhood home of Andy Griffith.  Mount Airy is considered to be the inspiration behind the fictional town of Mayberry in the iconic 'Andy Griffith Show'.

For my entire set from Mount Airy on flickr, head here.

Today, many see 'Mayberry' as the ideal image of small town life during a simpler time.  Many are "In Search of Mayberry" looking for that small town that reminds you of days long gone.  Walking through downtown Mount Airy, that simpler, easy going small town of yesteryear still exists.

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Downtown Mount Airy is full of numerous specialty shops, recreational outfitters, and restaurants.  And of course, the biggest draw to downtown Mount Airy are the businesses made famous by the "Andy Griffith Show."  Snappy Lunch does exist in Mount Airy as it did in Mayberry.  Snappy Lunch and its famous Pork Chop sandwhich has been serving Mount Airy since 1923.

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But maybe the most visited piece of Mayberry is Floyd's City Barber Shop.  'Floyd' is actually Russell Hiatt who has operated the downtown barber shop for over 60 years!!  I just missed meeting Mr. Hiatt when I was in town, but you can get your hair cut at the legendary barber shop for $8.00.

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If you love classic cars, they are sure to be found in Mount Airy.  We saw plenty this afternoon including -

A 1961 Chevy Impala:

1961 Chevy Impala

A 1959 Mercury Montclair:

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But the most popular classic car in Mount Airy is a 1963 Ford Galaxie Police Squad Car, a replica of the police car in the "Andy Griffith Show".

Mayberry Police Car

For $30, you can take a 45 minute ride in the car seeing different parts of Mount Airy.

There's much more to Mount Airy - from the 1937 Wally's Service Station and a replica of the courthouse from the show.  Surry's County Seat is actually Dobson a number of miles to the south on US 601.

Mount Airy is also home to the Mayberry Days Festival.  Held every year during the last weekend of September, Mayberry Days is a celebration of Griffith, Mayberry, Small Town America, and the Autumn Season.  The festival is put on by the Surry Arts Council.  Looks like another roadtrip to Mount Airy is in order!

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