Mount Airy was the childhood home of American actor Andy Griffith, and the inspiration for the fictional community Mayberry, the setting of The Andy Griffith Show. Although Griffith himself often denied the connection, several locations and names mentioned in the show reflect real places and people in or near Mount Airy, including Mount Pilot (nearby Pilot Mountain) and Snappy Lunch, a restaurant which still stands in the city’s downtown and is famous for its pork chop sandwich. The community holds an annual “Mayberry Days” celebration during the last weekend of September which regularly attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.
Citizens of Mount Airy normally take pride in the Mayberry theme, but others are embarrassed by the association. Many citizens would rather Mount Airy show off and market its own rich heritage. In any case, Mount Airy itself looks nothing like TV’s Mayberry, as the show was filmed entirely in Hollywood, California, on the RKO Pictures backlot called “Forty Acres.
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