To make sure everyone was ready to join the fun, we listed all the games and activities on the invitations. We encouraged guests to dress as a Mayberry character with a Look Alike Contest. We also asked those who could to bring a jar of homemade pickles for our Pickle Contest, or bring an item for Opie's 5 Minute Dash. Some sang Ernest T's "Old Aunt Mariah" and others joined our Talent Competition and performed a song from The Andy Griffith Show. Everyone was included with the Carter/Wakefield Family Feud. Make the invitations bright and exciting and give the guests time to find their costumes. Mayberry Invitation Information
Look Alike Contest!
We began the fun with a Look Alike Contest. We arranged the tables in a semi-circle fashion with an open area for the focal point of the activities. We asked those who wished to be in the Look Alike Contest to come forward, one table at a time, and tell which character they were. Many quoted a line from the show and some brought props. I went as Ellie the druggist and had my white coat pockets full of sugar pills (Smarties) which I offered throughout the evening to the kids. Have small pieces of paper and pencils on each table so everyone can vote. Our winner was a small child who dressed as the Loaded Goat. (Her little brother was a close runner-up as Leon.) This prize was a Mayberry-opoly game. Everyone who dressed up was given a pack of collectible Mayberry cards (similar to baseball cards). The packs were opened and prizes were awarded to anyone who found a card of his/her character in his/her pack.
We began planning our party when my son went into training, so we had months to look for prizes. I tried to match each prize to the game, so I have listed them at the end of each activity. We visited Mount Airy, North Carolina and found many Mayberry items: cups, calendars, refrigerator magnets, puzzles, and Mayberry-opoly. We also found memorabilia online.
Refreshments And Table Decorations:
We chose to have a picnic menu and used red and white checked table cloths on the serving tables. We had fried chicken, potato salad, corn, green beans, and rolls. We baked homemade cakes and pies, and had star-shaped tins of jello, cookies, and cupcakes. In addition to iced tea, we had bottles of grape, orange, and other flavored "pop" in a tub of ice. We let guests begin eating as they arrived, and some of the activities were done while some finished eating, as entertainment.
Each table was decorated with a tall vase which had a red and white checked bow to match the serving tables, and a single, long-stemmed rose. (One table had a picture of a rose with a blue ribbon.) On one end of each table was a small checker board and checkers and on the other end was a notepad and pencils for the games. (Some people played checkers during the evening.)
“I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.” Psalm 101:1
My son was in the 101st training class and their class motto was Psalm 101. We framed a copy of Psalm 101 and set it up on a side table with pictures and other articles of interest from his training. He spoke to everyone and thanked them for their prayers, cards, and support.
Games And Activities:
We live in the south where people still can home-made pickles, so we set up a table in the corner for our Pickle Contest. We put a colorful quilt against the wall to give a "fair-like" background. The jars were numbered as people brought them in, and everyone was invited to be judges and vote on the best jar throughout the evening. We had bowls, knives, forks, and toothpicks set up at each jar. There were pieces of paper and a pen available with a big empty jar for the votes. (And, yes, my sister put "store-bought" pickles in one of her canning jars.) At the end of the party the votes were counted, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons were awarded, and the 1st place prize was a box of canning jars.
In another corner of the room we had an old fishing pole, fishing stool and box of tackle. On a small table we had a mason jar full of gummy worms. Each person could guess how many worms were in the jar. The prize was a border for a license plate which said, "I'd rather be fishing with Andy and Opie". (We had counted the worms before we put them in the jar. We also put a lid on it to keep the children from eating them.)
Could you be the next Ernest T.?
We found the words to Ernest T.'s song, "Old Aunt Mariah" and printed a copy for reference. With words in hand, some had a knee-slapping time singing that crazy song. Votes were done with a show of hands and the winner received a large T-shirt with a picture of Ernest T. Words are on the Invitation.
Some gave short lines from the show in the Look Alike Contest, but we also had a Talent Competition for those who wanted to recite more lines or sing a song from The Andy Griffith Show. "Charlene" played a mandolin and sang "There Is A Time" and "Rafe Hollister" sang "Look Down That Lonesome Road". Another guest played a harmonica. We awarded all participants a gift card from the Mayberry Ice Cream shop.
"Carters" And "Wakefield" Family Feud
Before the party, we surveyed 50 people and used our answers to play "Family Feud". Each table was a team. A writer for each table listed the answers for each question and stood up. The first 3 players to stand gave their answers and the team with the most points won that round. In case of a tie, the prizes were divided between the tables. We used a large dry erase board to keep score for each round and one person awarded prizes as we moved quickly to the next question. Many great answers were given at our party, that were not given in our surveyed group, so a point was awarded for each answer. Questions, points, and prizes are listed on Carter And Wakefield Family Feud.
Opie's 5 Minute Dash
This was taken from "Opie's 50 Yard Dash". On the invitations, we asked each guest to bring something Opie would carry, and leave the items in their cars until the game began. This was our last party game. We gave everyone 5 minutes to gather all their items and gave prizes to the 3 tables which had the most items. Each item counted only once. If there were 3 baseballs at one table, they could only count it once. Prizes for this game were toys that were available during the 60's and each person at a winning table chose a prize from the box. We found "match box" cars of the 50's and 60's. Our Prize Box also had baseballs, crayons, "slinkies" and bags of marbles. (Extra prizes were given to the children at the party.) For a list of items used in the dash, see Opie's Dash score card.