Indy Style

Don Knotts’ daughter participates in Mayberry festival in Hendricks County

Karen Knotts, daughter of 5 time Emmy award-winning actor Don Knotts, travels to Indy to participate in Mayberry festival in Hendricks County.  She stops in to Indy Style to share thoughts on her famous dad and his continuing popularity.

He’s been gone since 2006 and people continue to love him and want to talk about him…they are fascinated.  He is an enigma.”

Welcoming and entertaining more than 4,000 visitors over two days last year, the first-ever Mayberry in the Midwest proved to be a rousing success. Expecting more visitors in its second year, organizers want to do even more as they have added another day, more ticketed events and additional free activities to the zany fun that made last year’s festival so popular.

The quiet Hendricks County seat of Danville will transform again into the iconic 1960s fictional community that was home to Andy, Opie, Aunt Bee and Barney for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival May 15-17. Former cast members, amazing tribute artists and even Don Knotts’ real-life daughter, Karen Knotts, will take visitors on a journey inside their televisions to experience life in Mayberry.

The three-day festival will surround the historic Hendricks County Courthouse Square with numerous themed activities including a Mayberry parade, Opie’s World, Tractor Town, Squad Car Nationals, reruns of the show on the big screen at the historic Royal Theater, food and vendor booths and much more. Two original Andy Griffith Show cast members, Maggie Peterson Mancuso, who portrayed Charlene Darling on the show, and Rodney Dillard, who played one of the Darling boys, also will return. Tribute artists reprising many of the show’s most popular characters including Barney, Goober, Gomer, Floyd the Barber, Ernest T. Bass and others will sign autographs, mingle with the crowd and perform on stage.

But organizers also wanted to infuse new activities into this year’s festival including:

• Karen Knotts – She will share hilarious stories from life with her legendary dad.

• Mayberry After Dark – This activity billed as part scavenger hunt, part pub crawl and part walking tour will include a one-of-a-kind keepsake and other surprises.

• Mike Toomey Comedy Show – National comedian Mike Toomey will present his “Mayberry Centric” stand-up routine.

• Game Shows – Mayberry-themed game shows requiring audience participation.

The festival and most of the activities are free. However, a few ticketed events will be held throughout the event.

Limited tickets are on sale for a VIP Meet & Greet Party inside the Hendricks County Courthouse Rotunda, Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band concert, Karen Knotts’ retrospective, Mike Toomey Comedy Show and Mayberry After Dark. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit MayberryintheMidwest.com.

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Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at info@southbendart.org, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.

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