Well, it’s finally back, and not just a taste this time. But the real full-fledged Boysenberry Festival has returned to Knott’s Berry Farm after several long years of… everything.
Last week, we covered the food that was going to be featured at the event so you can go to that page if you want a rundown of the food. This article is mostly going to be focused on everything else.
But right now the park is looking more gorgeous than ever. Springtime is here and it’s definitely in bloom!
And live entertainment is in every nook and cranny! However, the park staples, Billy Hill & The Hillbillies, aren’t always a guarantee right now. Be sure to check the app when you can to see what musical groups are scheduled if it’s a critical part for your day. Recently we’ve seen The Mighty Tornadoes play in the Wagon Camp, mostly contemporary country music, and they’re fantastic.
We started off the day with some mac n cheese bites, with the boysenberry sriracha ketchup. Good stuff as usual- and gave us the energy to look at the craft booths.
All the cute stuff is out right now. It’s so good to see it all again, lining the streets of Calico.
And the barn is open once again, but this time it has an actual sign out front! Inside were some very happy goats, along with Dave the horse.
Dave can get fussy sometimes, but he’s curious. You can often find him poking his head out of the stable during Ghost Town Alive and getting name-checked.
The biggest thing we were anticipating, however, was the new melodrama in the Bird Cage Theater. Originally set to debut back in 2020, we’ve had to wait far too long to see it. And it was worth it. Let’s give a warm welcome to Riverboat Revenge!
The story has all the familiar archetypes of the melodrama with the dashing hero, lovely lady in red (well, Boysenberry purple), the delightful damsel, and even the dastardly villain.
Inside town hall in Calico, there’s a video on the history of the boysenberry. The area is a bit drab, but the video itself is captivating. Hopefully, some more decorations find their way inside.
And of course, there are glass blowing and wood carving demonstrations. Even just the SMELL of these is enough to draw you in.
But of course, there are lots of food booths to be found. However, you might be surprised to find less of them than you expect. This one is right outside the bank. But the majority are actually contained within Boysenberry Lane.
We’ll get to that.
Opposite the bank, you’ll find more craft booths, and a tiki statue munching on a boysenberry.
If you’re looking for the gallery, Tied Up in Knott’s, it will be in the Factory Store, next to the arcade. It’s been here before, but Cordy’s is being refurbished right now, alongside that whole area, due to be transformed by the summer.
Great art as always here.
And the prints are for sale, while in stock! Of course, if they’re out, be sure to ask if any reprints are coming. Sometimes the artist will deliver more throughout the events.
While they announced a little break during the Peanuts Celebration, the bears and coyotes have returned for their photo ops! Whittles is around, too, strolling around Boysenberry Lane.
Wipeout has returned, after being away for a bit. It seems to need refurbishment quite often.
We’ll come back to this in a bit, when the time is right- but inside is a dance club!
If you remember last year, Camp Snoopy was all decorated up for Easter, with plenty of bunnies to be found. They managed to spring up again if you didn’t have a chance to see it last year. Sometimes the park is so chock full of berries that you forget it’s also Easter time, and just a celebration of Spring!
Heading back to the front of the park, we’re finally making our way to Boysenberry Lane!
Here is where the core of the festival is contained! That way any long lines don’t interfere with any rides, or other parts of the park.
This area has become more thematic over the last few seasons. What was once just a back alley used for Scary Farm mazes now feels more like a valid extension of the park.
There are some carnival games down here. However, this one is ALWAYS a winner. You pay for the size of the prize you want, and just have a set time to see how many berries you can get into the baskets.
The hotly desired prize was this plushie boysenberry pie slice.
But there were also a lot of Squishmallows of all sizes to be won.
Including some Knott’s specific ones, like Brutus the donkey, or Todd the chicken.
And next to it are all the boysenberry plants on sale. While this looks impressive, these will sell out, so get yours ASAP if you want one.
And the chefs that we met during the preview night came around to greet us again. They’re larger than life!
These were the full-size pie bars being offered and they didn’t last long. We ate them right quick.
And the mini crab sushi with a boysenberry aioli is delightfully purple and delicious.This was a photo op here, where Whittles set up camp, but nothing’s stopping you from claim-jumping the mine as your own if he’s away!
Back in Knott’s proper, this was the schedule for the games of the day, concluding with the much-beloved pie eating contest.
It’s not just about finishing the fastest, but rather an audience vote on the most impressive result. Sign up early if you want a chance at getting messy.
K-NOT radio is still around, beautifully themed as always with the dashing hosts helping give the Boardwalk area some much-appreciated life.
And because there was such a positive reaction to posting the Squishmallows from our Twitter account, we decided to document a few more locations where they could be found around the park, mostly at the carnival games near the log ride.
Every inch of the park has something celebrating the festival. It’s amazing how quickly they manage to transform the park between events.
We also went back for the cowboy chili mac with Frito garnish and were impressed at the portion size, in a good way. While the tasting card has “only” 6 tabs on it, they’re ALL a very sizable amount.
Over in Fiesta Village, the Mariachi Angelitas were playing to a large crowd.
After we awoke from the food coma, night had fallen, and the calico mine stage had come to life with Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree show. These stage shows always impress with the large casts and special effects. (They don’t bring out the umbrellas for show)
Hangtime is back up and running again, too, after a long period where it was waiting on a part or two. It was running smoothly and looking just as amazing as it always has. That lighting package was a real gift to the park.
Now that night had fallen on the park, the Cloud 9 stage opened up for all the 80s music. There was a lot of fog, but in addition to guests, there were other dancers to be seen and a lot of retro videos playing on the monitors. It was a really nice place to hang out for a while, to relax.
But alas, all things come to an end, and the day ended quite a lot faster than we expected. Thankfully the event is running daily, now through April 24. Admission is included with all park tickets. The tasting card is $50 for all guests, with a $5 season pass discount. Tickets, passes, and more are all on sale at knotts.com.