For the uninitiated, the boysenberry is the result of crossing a raspberry, blackberry, loganberry, and dewberry. While this strange mutant berry might sound a bit intense what with all those progenitor berries, I assure you that boysenberries are absolutely delicious! Knott’s Berry Farm creator Walter Knott was instrumental in cultivating the berry in Southern California and might have saved it from extinction entirely! In honor of the boysenberry and its ties to Knott’s Berry Farm, the theme park hosts an annual “Boysenberry Festival”, where all manner of boysenberry infused treats become available for the public. We got the chance to attend the boysenberry festival last weekend and had a blast.
Thankfully, the Southern California weather was playing nice that day, and we reveled in the cool breeze and mild cloud cover. Walking into the park’s main entrance, I was blown away by the addition of boysenberry decorations all over the place. The crazy berries are on display all around and the even mix in a health dose of education by posting boysenberry facts up. A big draw of the festival is its food – all sorts of dishes done up with boysenberries in some capacity. This year saw a number of new additions to the Boysenberry Festival food lineup – my favorite being the boysenberry boba drinks! But, they also had boysenberry macaroons, boysenberry elotes, boysenberry short ribs, and a whole bunch of other stuff to try. My least favorite of the bunch was the boysenberry pierogies with boysenberry sour cream. I highly recommend picking up a Boysenberry Festival tasting card. For $30 dollars, you get a sample of eight different boysenberry stations.
After you get done eating all the treats, you can enjoy some of the live entertainment being offered in celebration of the festival. Over at the bird cage theatre, they are hosting a good old fashioned melodrama with a boysenberry twist. At the Calico Mine Stage, they are showing Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree, a great show with lots of singing and dancing. If country music is more your speed, check out the Ghost Town Miners perform near the Fireman’s BBQ. There is even a younger-crowd focused “Happy Campers” show at the Camp Snoopy Theatre with tons of your favorite Peanuts characters.
For those of you looking to get your hands dirty and do some activities, you can find a lot at the Boysenberry Festival. You can check out the craft fair vendors setup along the streets of Ghost Town. Or, you can pet horses, sheep, and more over at Old Macdonald’s Farm. The Ghost Town Town Hall is showing “History of the Boysenberry”, a short film about the Knott’s involvement with bringing the berries back from the brink and into the mainstream. You can even make your own custom tarts in Cordelia’s Pie Kitchen! Of course, the park’s usual rides and attractions are still going strong, and you can checkout the almost-completed roller coaster, Hang Time, as they sometimes test it throughout the day!
Overall, Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival is a ton of fun for the entire family and is one of the most wholesome events on the West Coast. The 2018 Boysenberry Festival runs until April 8, 2018. You can find ticket information, park hours, and more over at their official website.