It’s not too late! If you haven’t treated your tastebuds to the goodness that is Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival 2017, there’s still time to do so… but not much! This weekend marks the end of the wildly-popular “food and wine” event at Knott’s, which has been going on since April 1st. The final day is April 23rd.
Now in its third year, the Boysenberry Festival has definitely become a well-oiled machine. We haven’t once encountered issues we have in years past, such as food running out or associates not knowing much about the event they were working. Notable this year was the much easier process of paying (in most cases) at the point of food distribution for those who didn’t want to buy tasting cards in advance; that was a huge snag in the past – waiting in a long food line only to be told you had to go pay somewhere else first. Now, in most cases, you can just walk up, pay, and get your treats; simple. The best method however, is to buy a tasting/sampling card at any of the multiple locations throughout Ghost Town; additionally, we recommend the alcohol tasting card as well, if you’re going to indulge in adult beverages throughout your visit. In the long run, this method is cheaper and you’ll be stuffed!
Returning this year to the festival are favorites such as Boysenberry Cream Soda, the Fun Bun, meatballs in Boysenberry BBQ sauce, chicken wings in Boysenberry BBQ sauce, and Boysenberry Latte. If you’re looking for the boozy goodness, we absolutely recommend the Boysenberry Beer (tip: they sell it year-round now) or Boysenberry Wine. There are over 70 Boysenberry-infused items to try this year at Knott’s, including Boysenberry Pizza, Boysenberry Ravioli, and Boysenberry Fry Bread – stuffed with Nutella and Boysenberry drizzle! We sampled a lot of the offerings this year and honestly, thought it was all really tasty.
The main hub of activity really is the Wine and Craft Brew Garden at the Wilderness Dance Hall. There, you’ll find over 50 wines and several craft beers to enjoy with a cheese and cracker plate inside the barn or out. It’s a nicely decorated space that is welcoming and very busy during peak hours. Again – take advantage of the tasting card in this case, so you can sample several different libations.
While not edible or drinkable, we do want to direct your attention to Ghost Town’s Town Hall, where guests can sit down and watch a short video that explains the history of Knott’s Berry Farm and the Boysenberry itself. It’s a heartfelt production that we found to be pleasantly emotional and beautifully shot/edited. Kudos to all involved. Our tip is to enjoy this little gem later in the evening – you’ll likely have the room to yourself, which is perfect, considering how noisy other folks and small children can be. Whatever you do, don’t miss this presentation. It’s free with your admission to the park – so definitely put this on your To Do list.
There are lots of other forms of entertainment to be had at Knott’s during the 2017 Boysenberry Festival including old-time melodramas in the Bird Cage Theatre, the musical stylings of the Ghost Town Miners at the Fireman’s BBQ stage, Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies in the Wagon Camp, and Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree! on the Calico Mine Stage. Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree! is a fun show for the whole family that really is high in production value – much more than we’ve seen at Knott’s in the past when it comes to stage shows targeting kids.
As is the case with most of the park’s special events, artisan vendors can be found throughout Ghost Town selling all sorts of items – from handmade scented soaps to blown glass and custom artwork. It’s great to grab a cold beer and stroll through Ghost Town, browsing all of the items on sale.
Knott’s Berry Farm has knocked it out of the park with its Boysenberry Festival 2017 event. So much so, that it’s truly a shame that the event only lasts a few weeks. The festival’s popularity is so strong, that Knott’s could honestly, make this a 4-6 week event and it would still be packed with eager eaters and happy guests.
What we’d love to see, is Knott’s expand the scale of the event to all corners of the theme park. The popularity of the Boysenberry Festival has outgrown Ghost Town. Taking it to each of the other areas of the park would open it up to really exciting new possibilities – fun, sweet snacks and “fair food” on the Boardwalk; Mexican-style offerings in Fiesta Village such as Boysenberry margaritas and tacos with chipotle Boysenberry salsa; and bite-sized treats for children throughout Camp Snoopy like Boysenberry tarts, chicken nuggets with Boysenberry dipping sauce, and Boysenberry milk. The possibilities are just about endless when you think of the festival on a park-wide scale. Here’s hoping for some of this to come in the years ahead!
The Boysenberry Festival is on par, if not better than other similar food and wine events we’ve experienced across the country, including those found at Disney California Adventure, Busch Gardens Virginia, and Epcot. What Knott’s has created stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other well-established events, as well it should. Knott’s exists because of food. It also owes a great deal of its legacy to the Boysenberry. The marriage of the two into their annual Boysenberry Festival is a natural winner for everyone – we look forward to it being around for a long, long time!
- Rick West
Knott’s Boysenberry Festival 2017 Video:
Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival 2017 Images: