Memories of Mayberry  approaches

Andy Woods and Allan Newsome impersonate Barney Fife and Floyd the Barber from “The Andy Griffith Show.”

The city of Valley Head will be hosting their free “Memories of Mayberry Festival” on June 2 in the downtown streets and surrounding areas. The day will be filled with events and character meet-and-greets that are intended to remind residents of a “simpler time.” The contests make reference to stories and episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Many “familiar” faces will be present, and downtown buildings will even be disguised as locations from Mayberry.

Valley Head Mayor Lamar Bray developed the idea of “Memories of Mayberry” when the city council was in search of an event to raise money for the Valley Head Volunteer Fire Department, and all vendor fees and donations with go to them.

“Last year, they were in need of funds and the festival has just grew and grew,” said Debra Rhodes, city clerk. “Losing Shaw Industries took away a lot of money out of the town, so we wanted to do something to bring money to our departments.”

At 9 a.m., the festival will begin with the National Anthem sung by Whitney Tinker, an elementary special education teacher at Valley Head. There will be live music of various genres all day until 5 p.m. and guests are encouraged to bring their own instruments to ‘pick and play’ between band sets or events.

The Clog Wild Cloggers will perform at noon, led by Kay Trimm, the State Clogging Representative on the Alabama Square and Round Dance Association (ASARDA) Board.

Character impersonators from the television show, including Barney Fife, Floyd the Barber, Otis and more, will be at the festival throughout the day to meet with residents and take pictures.

Anyone is welcome to bring their antique cars for the cruise-in portion of the day.

Aunt Bee’s Canned Pickle Contest participants must bring their entries to the large, white tent by 9:30 a.m., and judging will begin at 10. Only one entry per person is allowed. Prizes for the contest have been donated by Mt. Olive Pickles, of North Carolina, and Wickles Pickles of Dadeville.

Judging for the pie baking contest will be at 11 a.m. in front of Headquarters Hair and Tanning Salon and must be brought to the salon by 10:30 a.m. Categories include fruit, nut, other and youth, ages 14 and under. Participants are limited to one entry per category and one per person.

Headquarters Hair and Tanning will also be hosting the Watermelon Seed Spitting and a contest that allows participants to compete in an Andy Griffith theme song whistling contest.

Entry forms for contests are due June 1 and can be found at Valley Head Town Hall.

Numerous vendors have signed up to sell on-site, including Scentsy, Damsel in Defense, Limelight, Plunder, Paparazzi, Dandelion Wishes, Bradshaw’s Uniforms, a kettle corn stand, shaved ice, political booths, local churches and more. Weaver’s Department Store, out of Huntsville, will be selling Andy Griffith collectibles, as well.

Adelle Phillips, mayor pro tem, said there are still vendor spots available and to call 256-899-3776, if interested.

Many local organizations donated items and tickets for the raffle prizes.

Rhodes said there would be a large number of gift cards, prize items and tickets, including The U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, Birmingham Zoo and more.

“The sponsorship is incredible,” Rhodes said. “City hall looks like a Walmart right now.”

The raffle tickets are $1 each or 12 for $10 and will enter participants in drawings for the above prizes.

Shirts, hats and visors are available for purchase from town hall or Headquarters Hair and Tanning Salon. Parking is available in the field behind the Chevron station and across the road, behind the Rib Shack and at the school. The city will be providing transportation from the event to the designated parking areas throughout the day.

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