Archive for February 26, 2015

Mayberry in the Midwest Festival, May 15-17, 2015

February 26, 2015 Leave a comment
Mayberry in the Midwest Festival.

Mayberry in the Midwest Festival in Danville, Indiana, May 15-17, 2015.

By Josh Duke

Welcoming and entertaining more than 4,000 visitors over two days in 2014, 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, 2015. 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.

“We have been to other Mayberry festivals, and although it was Danville’s first year hosting Mayberry in the Midwest, they did a great job making Danville feel like the fictitious town of Mayberry,” said Tena MacDonald, an Indianapolis resident who attended last year’s Mayberry in the Midwest with her husband. “Having the tribute artists really takes you there and brings Mayberry to life. We were so excited to hear that Karen Knotts is going to be in Danville this year. We saw her one-woman show in Mt. Airy (N.C.), and it was fantastic. It should draw a lot of people.”

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.

“Mayberry fans are loyal, dedicated and willing to travel a long way to be part of a Mayberry celebration,” said Christine Born, owner of the Mayberry Cafe and event organizer. “Danville is a perfect community to host this event with its Main Street charm and hometown Americana personality, so we want to enhance that with new and creative ideas to keep this event entertaining and interesting. We learned a lot last year and a lot of what we changed and added reflects an effort to make this festival stand out.”

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

Limited tickets just went 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,

Boomer TV Debuts on WISH-TV on Mar. 1, 2015

February 26, 2015 Leave a comment
WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana

WISH-TV Building on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

By Mary Pat McKee, Publisher
Indy Boomer Magazine

Boomer TV, a show for Baby Boomers, premieres in Indianapolis this Sunday, March 1, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. on WISH-TV Channel 8. Host Patty Spitler welcomes Pacers owner Larry Bird as the show’s first featured guest.

On the subject of retirement: it’s something that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon for Larry Bird – at least not yet. He said in the upcoming issue of Indy Boomer Magazine, “I tried it twice and it didn’t work out for me!” he says with a chuckle. “People work all their lives, then, when the day comes to retire, after four or five months you realize you need to be doing something every day and stay on a schedule. In my case, I missed what I was doing, and I enjoyed what I was doing. There are a lot of ups and downs with my job. But the positives outweigh the negatives.” The full article appears in the March 10th issue, available at

Boomer TV is an independently produced lifestyle magazine format show, covering topics important to the 50+ age group. Topics such as business, travel, entertainment, real estate, home rehab, fitness, health and more will be covered.

Spitler, a former WISH-TV news anchor, currently co-hosts Pet Pals TV with meteorologist Paul Poteet. Other Boomer TV reporters include familiar Indianapolis TV faces such as Grace Trahan, Scott McKain, Joy Dumandan, Pam Elliot, Julie Patterson and Paul Poteet.

Spitler said, “The show is all about enjoying life, finding out what makes you happy and then doing it.” We want to be relevant to viewers who are seeking to enjoy life as they get older.” Spitler also serves as one of the show’s producers.

Ramon Carrera, CEO of Pet Pals TV, is executive director for Boomer TV. Jason Heath, former news director at WRTV, serves as executive producer of Pet Pals TV and Boomer TV. Steve Sweitzer, former chief photographer and news operations manager at WISH-TV, joins the reporters at Boomer TV.

Mary Pat McKee, publisher of Indy Boomer Magazine, which was the inspiration for Boomer TV, is CEO of the new show.

Carrera said, “I see a great need for a show that caters to a positive lifestyle for those 50-plus. We plan to make it fun, entertaining and informative.”

Pet Pals TV currently airs Saturdays on WISH-TV and its sister station, WNDY. On March 1, it will move to the 11 a.m. Sunday time slot following Boomer TV.

Spitler feels that this niche program is “…tailor made for certain segments of the Hoosier community. We want to present the best options for viewers and educate as well as entertain.”

For more information about Boomer TV, including photos and bios of the team, visit

Boomer TV is a show for Baby Boomers celebrating the best years of their lives. We bring you topics you want to see like travel, real estate, home rehab, finance, fitness, entertainment, food, health and so much more. All from a team of local reporters and anchors you’ve come to know over the years. Boomer TV, Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WISH-TV. Boomer TV…For the best years of your life.