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Archive for the ‘Tourism and recreation’ Category

Who would have thought that an industry segment could dwindle so much that what remains would be a tourist attraction? That’s the case with Mount Airy’s Bright Leaf Drive-In Theater, now one of a small handful of drive-ins left in the state, which at its peak in the ’50s numbered more than 200.
Since I have lived in the southwestern corner of the county for the past 37 years, I must admit not having had the pleasure of spending an evening at the Bright Leaf yet. The last time I went to a drive-in was probably a quarter-century ago, either in Jonesville or at the Flamingo in Winston-Salem. I do remember my first time ever at a drive-in, going with my parents to see one of the first James Bond films in Quantico, Va. I could barely wrap my arms around the 49-cent Sprite. I also remember that there was a drive-in that tried to appeal to the younger crowd by urging them to “see a movie from the comfort of your own back seat.”
Anyway, it’s great to see the Bright Leaf has new, young, enthusiastic ownership and that folks are coming from miles around.

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With the Andy Grffith memorabilia collection now safely ensconced at the Surry Arts Council, what should we be doing about a new visitors center for Mount Airy? Should we build a new facilty? If so, downtown or farther out, perhaps by one of the interstate exits? Or should we utilize the chamber or some other existing building?

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Just curious. I know Mayberry Days is a big thing for the community from a tourism standpoint. But if you’re from around here, is it something you eagerly anticipate, or take part in, or do you find something else to do outside the area to avoid the crowds here?

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After complaining for weeks that there wasn’t anything going on here during the weekends, I got overwhelmed with options Saturday. The Grape Jam, Latino Fest, Agriculture Festival, SCC benefit concert and Shelton concert series all piqued my interest, but there was hardly time in the afternoon for any more than one (to say nothing of Rockford’s sweet potato festival or Elkin’s art in the park). Anyone have any recollections, good or bad, regarding these events? Any you’d recommend for next year?

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After spending close to four decades in the southern part of the county, I’m now getting to know some of the many eateries in the upper half. The Cuban sandwich from Goober’s was outstanding, and the basil wraps at Thailand Café were subtle and tasteful. I’d like some suggestions from you folks on particular things I ought to try from area restaurants. I’m no snob when it comes to food, so just tell me what you think are the best things to order locally.

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