This Halloween season marks a special milestone for our friends at Knott’s Berry Farm. When the fog begins to billow across Ghost Town, and strange creatures begin to emerge from the shadows later this year, it will be time to celebrate the 45th Halloween event the park has hosted – known around the world as Knott’s Scary Farm. Fans need not wait until late September or October to begin celebrating, however. On Sunday, July 30th, Midsummer Scream will proudly present 45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm, hosted by author/historian Ted Dougherty.
45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm will close Midsummer Scream 2017 with a special 90-minute presentation on Sunday, July 30th, beginning at 4:30pm in the Terrace Theater, which will accommodate up to 3,000 fans. The unique presentation will feature historical photos of Knott’s Scary Farm, and an unprecedented “rotating panel” that will spotlight individuals key to the creation of, and crucial to the continued success of the haunt that pioneered similar events at theme parks around the world.
“In 1973, Knott’s created an event that has become synonymous with Halloween here in Southern California,” says Rick West, Creative Director of Midsummer Scream. “For generations, countless visitors have walked through the mazes and scare zones at Knott’s; it’s the granddaddy of all theme park Halloween haunts. As Knott’s celebrates its 45th Scary Farm this fall, it’s only fitting that Midsummer Scream hosts a very special presentation to honor their huge milestone. As a longtime fan of the Scary Farm, I cannot wait to see this moment unfold on our main stage as Ted [Dougherty] walks us through the history of this event that is so near and dear to our hearts.”
45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm is a historical presentation that will educate, entertain, and bring fans up-to-date with the Buena Park event that is credited with launching an entire industry throughout the United States and beyond. This retrospective panel is separate than the official Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 presentation, which will be held on Saturday, July 29th, also in the Terrace Theater; during that presentation, representatives from Knott’s Berry Farm will discuss this year’s event, and will be revealing some aspects of Scary Farm 2017 that fans are going to be very excited to hear.
“We recognize the substantial contribution Knott’s has made to Southern California’s haunt scene, and to the world-wide industry in general when it comes to large-scale Halloween events,” says David Markland, Executive Director of Midsummer Scream. “Our 45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm presentation is logistically, the most complicated presentation we have ever done as a team. Rotating so many individuals out of an active panel within a 90-minute window is tricky; Ted Dougherty is going to be fantastic as a host, and will handle this brilliantly.”
Fans of Knott’s Scary Farm and Midsummer Scream can look forward to hearing from an amazing group of individuals on stage during this epic 90-minute presentation, including:
John Waite – Responsible for decorating/designing Haunt scenes and gags for the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride under Bud Hurbut in the early 1970s, John helped set the bar for Knott’s Scary Farm attractions for years to come.
Diana Kirchen Kelly – The first Green Witch character to roam the streets of Ghost Town beginning in 1973. Diana is among the small handful of very first scare zone monsters in theme park history.
Julie Owens – A performer, dancer, and choreographer for over four decades at Knott’s Berry Farm, Julie ultimately became the Entertainment Director of Live Entertainment for the park, making countless contributions to Knott’s Scary Farm throughout her career.
Vickie Yahn – The actress who portrayed one of the most iconic characters in Knott’s Scary Farm original show history, the legendary witch from the early Hanging productions.
Brian McGee – One of the first members of the original “Haunt Crew” for Knott’s Scary Farm, Brian created attractions such as Knott’s Scary Tales, Metro Madness, Best Little Horror House, and more.
Del Langdale – The former head of Knott’s Berry Farm Park Décor in the 1970s and 1980s, many of the looks and designs synonymous with Knott’s Scary Farm midways are concepts that were first introduced by Del.
Todd Stubbler – Scaring guests for many years as a street monster in Ghost Town, Todd was responsible for fine-tuning and innovating the scare tactic known as “sliding”.
Larry McCauley – The first individual to be hired as an official “maze designer” for Knott’s Scary Farm, Larry designed mazes such as Revenge of the Dead, and Uncle Ernie’s Madhouse.
Todd Faux – Working as the Entertainment Design Manager at Knott’s Berry Farm for 18 years, Todd designed attractions such as Quarantine, 13 Axe Murder Manor, and the Haunt 25th Anniversary Maze.
Ken Parks – In addition to being the former writer and actor for The Hanging throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Ken performed as Dr. Cleaver in Dr. Cleaver’s Psycho Circus, and is now the Vice President of Entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Ed Alonzo – A world-renowned magician, Ed Alonzo entertained and mesmerized Knott’s Scary Farm crowds over a dozen seasons, including headlining the Charles M. Schultz Theatre several times with shows such as Ghouls Gone Wild with Ed Alonzo, and Ed Alonzo’s Howl-O-Ween House Party.
Jon Cooke – As a former maze and scare zone talent, Jon has become one of the most innovative maze designers in Knott’s Scary Farm’s history, with attractions such as Infected, Paranormal, Inc., and Shadow Lands.
Immediately following the conclusion of the presentation, Midsummer Scream guests are invited to a reception in the lobby of the Terrace Theater, where they will have the opportunity to meet, talk to, and take photos with the 45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm panelists!
“We felt a reception would be the perfect way to end Midsummer Scream 2017, giving fans the opportunity to actually meet the individuals featured during the Scary Farm 45 presentation,” adds Markland.
Tickets for Midsummer Scream are on sale now. Click here for ticketing options and sales.
Midsummer Scream will be held July 29-30, 2017 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Fans may sign up on the site for email notifications and announcements, including discounts and other special offers. Be sure to follow Midsummer Scream on social media as well – Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, Instagram: @MidsummerScream, and Facebook: facebook.com/midsummerscream. Please use #MidsummerScream to tag all social media posts regarding Midsummer Scream 2017. Halloween – It’s not just a season… it’s a lifestyle!
Midsummer Scream is a large-scale summer festival celebrating the spirit of Halloween, haunts and horror, drawing thousands of guests to Southern California for a weekend of thrills and chills. Featuring a massive show floor of vendors and exhibitors, haunted attractions and experiences, live entertainment and world-class panel presentations, Midsummer Scream is the West Coast’s premier Halloween/horror event, offering something for fans of all ages. More information can be found at MidsummerScream.org.