By John Hacker

Globe Staff Writer

ANDERSON, Mo. - Anderson will honor one of the town's most famous former residents with twice the festival it had last year.

The second Dabbs Greer Days will become a two-day festival, to be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Dabbs Greer Town Hole Park near the post office in Anderson. The annual citywide garage sale has been scheduled to coincide with Saturday's events.

"We're trying a number of different things to see how they work," said Gary Sanny, festival organizer. "Some things may not go and the festival may look different again next year, but we'll play it by ear for now."

Greer, 86, is a character actor who has been in 99 films and more than 600 television programs.

Moviegoers might remember Greer's role in the 1999 movie "The Green Mile." Greer played the elderly version of Paul Hedgecomb, a guard played for most of the movie by Tom Hanks. For several years, Greer played the Rev. Robert Alden in the long-running television series "Little House on the Prairie."

Greer was born in 1917 in Fairview, and he and his family moved to Anderson when he was very young. His father was a pharmacist in a drugstore in downtown Anderson. He graduated from high school in Anderson and went on to attend Drury College in Springfield, graduating in 1943.

Greer's acting career started with a movie about Jesse James that was shot in Pineville in 1938. He moved to California in 1943, but returned to Anderson several times to visit his mother until her death in the 1980s.

At last year's festival, Town Hole Park, located on Main Street near the Anderson Post Office, was renamed Dabbs Greer Town Hole Park, and a black granite monument with Greer's picture and a message was dedicated in the park.

Sanny said that this year, the festival will emphasize arts-and-crafts booths and local musical entertainment.

"We've got a lot more booths, probably 40 booths or more, at the festival this year," Sanny said. "This is the weekend before the big arts-and-crafts festivals in Arkansas and sellers are already in the area, so this is a good way for them to get a feel of how things will go. Those sellers really want to set up for more than one day if they are going to come to a festival, so we extended it to two days."

Sanny said a number of local performers are slated to entertain at the park, including the Bill Porter Band, the Anderson Junior High Honors Choir and Destiny Swing Choir, Brandy and Brandon Wooden, Jack Ricketts, and Amazing Grace.

"The festival may change, but I think the arts and crafts and the local entertainment will always be a big part of it," Sanny said.

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