Taste of Calico is an event that is taking place two weekends in July at Knott’s Berry Farm.  It is a way for the park to reopen to guests as an outdoor food and shopping location.  Yet, it features so much more than that!

The event has been advertised as a way to sample various items from Knott’s Berry Farm in Ghost Town.  A few of the items were to have been part of the Boysenberry Festival that would have taken place in March and April.  For that reason alone it is worth going by and tasting all the amazing treats that Knott’s has to offer!

5 items come with the admission and tasting card.  7 spots are available for picking up food items from, and each has its own selection.  Among the assortment…

  • Sutter’s Grill
    • Basil Lemonade
    • Pulled Pork Sliders
    • Mac and Cheese Bites with Fries and Sriracha Ketchup
    • Boysenberry BBQ Wings
    • Samosas with a Boysenberry Chutney
  • Ghost Town Grup
    • Mini Funnel Cake with Boysenberry Topping
    • Mrs. Knott’s Biscuit Bites with Boysenberry Butter
    • Bread Pudding with a Creme Anglaise
  • Fireman’s BBQ
    • Boysenberry Sausage on a Hoagie Bun
    • Roasted Corn with Butter and Cotija Cheese
    • Basil Lemonade
  • Wilderness Broiler
    • Cucumber Lemonade
    • Deep-Fried Chips with an Onion Dip
    • Pastrami Sandwich on a Pretzel Bun and Boysenberry Mustard and Chips
  • Wilderness Dance Hall Patio
    • Cumbo with Chicken, Shrimp and Boysenberry Sausage on Basmati Rice
    • Boysenberry Flavored Beer, Wine or Sangria
    • Boysenberry Smoothie
  • Gourmet Churro Factory
    • Mini Stuffed Churro with Boysenberry Filling
  • Mix-It-Up
    • Boysenberry Jam Sugar Cookiewich
    • Boysenberry Icee Float
    • Cucumber Lemonade
  • Judge Roy Bean
    • Steak Chili with a Boysenberry Cornbread Muffin
    • Boysenberry Flavored Beer, Wine or Sangria
    • Boysenberry Smoothie

Out of these, I selected the Pastrami Sandwich, Mac and Cheese Bites, Cookiewich, Mini Biscuit Bites, and Bread Pudding.  It was a very hard choice to just get 5, but these are also available for purchase a la carte.  The reason for sticking to just the 5 included item amounts is that it was so filling to go through the 5!  Out of the items, my favorites were the sandwich and bread pudding.  Not that the others were bad, but these were the best in my opinion.

The sandwich had that wonderful pastrami slice with a balanced mustard sauce.  The pretzel bun is a great accompaniment to the meat.  The chips were made in the park, which made it a great side dish.  The cookiewich was a surprise for how large it is.  It featured two full cookies with Boysenberry flavor, a Boysenberry soft serve, and chocolate chips sprinkled on the sides.  It had a wonderfully sweet flavor and was a meal in itself for its size.  The Mac and Cheese Bites were fried hearty pieces that were definitely bite-sized and delicious.  The ketchup had a tangy and spicy flavor that made the fries stand out where they would just be the normal side dish.  The surprising thing about the biscuit bites was that they were fried to make an almost snack-like dish.  It also gave it a slightly sweet taste, though the butter did not put it over the top.  The bread pudding was a moist and delicious dessert that featured a jam-like Boysenberry flavor mixed into the frosting sauce and bread.  Having had the chili and samosas before I can highly recommend those as well.

As you can tell, it was worth going just to taste the great cooking that Knott’s has to offer.  But, those weren’t the only things available!  Among the streets of Calico were several shop stalls of crafters that are usually featured during the Boysenberry and Christmas festivals.  It was a wonderful sight and feature to have because of having the festival canceled.  These always offer unique items that are only offered in the season.

Summertime is usually the season for Ghost Town Alive, which features citizens of Calico interacting with guests among the streets.  It is something I have been missing during this summertime as I often visite the park just to watch this group of townsfolk live out a story at Knott’s.  It was a wonderful surprise to see that a couple of performers were available to entertain guests on the upper story of the saloon.  They were still able to interact with guests, though at a safe distance.  It made it feel like Knott’s was open again.

The other surprise was the new sign for the new attraction, Bear-y Tales Return to the Fair.  The attraction was to open this summer with the 100th anniversary of the farm and park that came out of it.  The whimsical sign was actually entertaining guests and giving a hint of what to anticipate when the park opens again!

Though attractions, full entertainment, and the majority of the park was not open it was a welcome respite to have this great location back again.  With there being limited admission and measures taken to distance guests in line it felt very safe to be at.  Guests were required to have face coverings on except for when eating.  At Mystery Lodge was a Relaxation Station where guests could also have masks off for a moment.  The amount of outdoor seating was abundant, and never required standing while eating.

Knott’s was technically the first themed amusement park in California, and it seems to be the first reopened as well.  I hesitate to say reopen because it has still yet to be for the full park and for easy access if you have tickets or passes.  Still, this was an amazing return with giving such great feelings of the grand old park coming back.  I applaud how relaxed it felt with the precautions that Knott’s took, including a socially distanced entrance.

Admission is just available online for the remaining days and is required with a selected date.  It is limited capacity as part of the precautions.  With each admission is the tasting card that gets scanned at the registers with socially distant barriers.  The remaining available days are July 24, 25, and 26.  There are specific hours for each one, and I recommend checking knotts.com to see what is still available as time goes on.  If you are wanting that theme park visit again, it is highly recommended to visit Knott’s on one of these days.