MADISON Dedicated Mayberry enthusiasts can celebrate their favorite television series Saturday at the first Mayberry Fantastic Fall Festival.
Sponsored by a local chapter of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club and Western Friends of the Library, the free event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with crafters, artists, food vendors and more at Madison-Mayodan Public Library, 611 Burton St.
“There will be home-style fun and competitions, just like in Mayberry,” said librarian Shirley-Brim Jones, one of the organizers. “We will host a scarecrow contest, a ‘Pickles, Jams and Jellies Contest’ sponsored by Food Lion, and a flower arrangement contest sponsored by Lowe’s with prizes awarded in each category.”
A silent auction of items donated by vendors and other individuals is scheduled with bidding closing 4 p.m., with the highest bidder being notified if they are not present.
After Noreen Key’s husband, Donald, passed away last year, she sold their business, House of Stars on U.S. 220, but retained much of the merchandise. At the festival, she plans to sell Mayberry memorabilia from their collection of photos, books, records and compact discs.
A special feature throughout the day will be fleece and fiber spinning demonstrations by Mayodan resident Brittany Vaden, who created “My Wool Obsession.” She also will be selling hand-dyed yarns, hand-spun yarns, knit garments for infants and adults and hand-dyed silk scarves.
Vaden said she began knitting when she was a student at Northwest Guilford High School and was snowed in for a week. Bored, she picked up some knitting needles and taught herself. She fell in love with the craft.
Twelve years later, her expertise has expanded from knitting to raising the sheep, which she shears herself, then spins their wool into yarn on old-fashioned spinning wheels. Not only does she have a herd of 60 sheep but she calls her spinning wheel collection, numbering 18, a “herd.” Only a couple are considered antiques, she said, adding the others have been made by individuals and some she got from manufacturing companies.
Once she shears the sheep, Vaden washes the raw wool, dyes it and spins it.
“What makes it so special to me, when somebody buys my yarn, there is a whole story behind it,” she said. “There are 365 days of me feeding and caring for my sheep, and all that love is in that skein of yarn you can hold in your hand.”
Festival-goers can buy a variety of textures and colors of her yarn as well as handmade items such hats, socks, scarves and baby clothes.
Ricky Knight of Madison will bring handcrafted knives and tomahawks, in addition to wrought iron items.
He said the first thing he ever made was a gazebo, candle holders and other items for the wedding of his daughter, Erica Knight Brooks. He entered his first festival 10 years ago.
Other vendors include:
- Janet Buckner of Madison — Knitted items
- Frank Duncan of Madison — Framed original prints and artwork
- Tammy Lawson of Madison — Hand-beaded jewelry
- Travis Phelps of Madison — Candy
- Colin Smith of Reidsville — Canned goods jams, jellies, honey
- Tonya Totin of Mayodan — Holiday and year-round farmhouse décor and clothing
Several people will be vying for one of the cash prizes ranging from $50 to $100 in the scarecrow contest. Participants have each designed a unique one-of-a-kind scarecrow for the event.
Those who enjoy canning can compete in Aunt Bea’s Pickles, Jams & Jellies Contest. Entries are being accepted at the library until 5:30 p.m. the day before the festival. Prizes will be awarded for the top three in each category. Ribbons will be awarded for the “Best in the Show” and “Honorable Mention.” Only one entry per category will be accepted from each entrant.
Qualified judges will select winners in the flower arrangement contest. Cash prizes are being awarded with judging beginning at noon the day of the festival. Categories include dry, silk and live arrangements with only one entry per person in each category. Honorable mentions also will be awarded.