Off the Beaten Path: Local impersonator at Mayberry in the Midwest Festival

WTHI Photo, Mike Latta

DANVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) – There’s a festival coming up that brings old Mayberry back to life. It’s called the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival and it happens in Danville, Indiana.

And one of the main character impersonators doesn’t have to travel far.

Most of the time Jeanette Kleiber is like any other grandparent. She spends time with her granddaughter, taking in her favorite show.

“I was raised on the Andy Griffith Show.”

The difference with Kleiber is that for one weekend each year, she becomes part of the show.

“Knowing the Mayberry Festival was going to come here we did not have an ‘Aunt Bea,” said Gail Tharp, Hendricks County Museum.

So the museum decided to put on a contest.

“They had the guys coming from down south, the characters were coming up here but they didn’t have an ‘Aunt Bea’ character,” Kleiber said.

The rest is history.

For the past couple years, it’s been Kleiber performing at the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival.

Parked in the museum kitchen with a basket of goodies, strolling along the square and greeting patrons at the Mayberry Café.

The perfect person to play the part living just a few miles from downtown Danville.

The photo ops take place and she’s a local celebrity in her own back yard. Because when the gloves come out, and the hair’s pinned up, Kleiber becomes Mayberry’s favorite aunt.

With popularity hotter than a jar of her character’s kerosene cucumbers.

For more formation on the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival, check out this link.

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