Knott’s Berry Farm is gussying up with lights, topiaries, music stages, marketplace booths and food stands for the theme park’s annual Boysenberry Festival, March 19 – April 3. The family-centered event will take place at the park’s Ghost Town and will feature more than 70 types of boysenberry-inspired foods and beverages, along with old-time music, vine dancing, a wine and craft brew tasting garden and an evening dance party.
Knott’s Berry Farm was once a working farm on which founder Walter Knott planted a cross-bred vine of logan berry, blackberry and raspberry developed by Rudolph Boysen. Knott named the new hybrid “boysenberry” in honor of Boysen and began selling the berries from a road-side stand. A hearty vine that took well to the semi-arid, California climate, boysenberries became popular for jams, jellies, syrups and pies. Today, boysenberry vines throughout the world can be traced back to the original boysenberry vines planted at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Along with sampling the various types of boysenberry-inspired foods and drinks, festival goers can visit a replica of the original roadside stand operated by Walter and Cordelia Knott. Guests can purchase authentic boysenberry plants cut from the historic vines at the replica stand.
Some of the boysenberry-fused foods visitors can enjoy are barbecue ribs, chicken, meatballs and wings grilled with the park’s signature Berry Market Boysenberry BBQ sauce; deep fried alligator bites and fries with boysenberry aioli, and fried cheese curds with a spicy boysenberry dipping sauce.
Last year’s sweet sensation, the Fun Bun, a deep fried cinnamon roll with boysenberry cheese topping, will once again make it appearance, as well as boysenberry triffle, boysenberry panna cotta and deep-friend boysenberry ice cream. The wine and craft brew garden will include boysenberry wine, beer and cider, along with traditional brews and wines.
In addition to music and dancing, festival goers can take place in daily contests such as pie-eating, a pie-walk and a PJ-stuffing contest.
Knott’s own Bear-y Tales characters will be on hand for a host of children’s activities, including a tart-making kitchen where, for an additional fee, children will make their own crumble-topped boysenberry tart.
Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies will perform country comedy inside Knott’s Birdcage Theater, while over at the Fireman’s Brigade stage, live bands will play country tunes from dusk until the part closes at 10 p.m. The park’s Calico Stage will light up for a nighttime dance party featuring D.J. HowLy spinning hits until gates close.
Admission to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival is covered by regular park admission, but visitors can expect to pay separately for all food and beverages, including all of the special boysenberry-infused festival fare. Knott’s has extended the park’s springtime hours to open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. throughout the 16-day Boysenberry Festival.