Knott’s Berry Farm is not open as of March 2021 because of the pandemic…but that hasn’t meant food and fun has stopped! The Taste of Boysenberry Festival brings the annual Boysenberry Festival to guests in a new way. The “Taste” implies there is not as much to do as a regular festival, but I would argue that it’s not the case for this year’s festivities!
Of course, the main attraction is the food at the Boysenberry Festivals. Knott’s is known for its iconic berry and delicious chicken dinner. For 100 years it has been the mainstay of the resort, and that means that this festival features some tasty morsels! Items amidst the park are heavy in the Boysenberry flavor. Well, overall heavy with the Boysenberry theme, but some items have more of the berry flavor than others. And that is absolutely good to have that variety. There are some dishes that should not have an overwhelming berry taste to them.
As part of the ticket for the festival, guests get a tasting card that is good for five eats or drinks. That is actually a bit of a problem. There is a lot to choose from as indicated in this post. Some are repeated at various booths, which makes them easier to obtain. There is still so much to choose from that it is still hard to figure out exactly what to have!
The DAPs crew of Mr. Daps, Caitie, and myself, Murray, had a few items to try out. The first was the Beer Cheese Soup and Carne Asada pizza. The soup came in a small sourdough bread bowl. On top were a drizzle of Boysenberry sauce and some buttered croutons. The bowl was a very delicious and soft sourdough! The soup was nice and thick, which was not quite a dip form but also not too soupy. It had a great spicy cheese taste to it that let the drizzle be a much-needed contrast.
The pizza was my personal favorite. It featured very tasty grilled carne asada that was amazingly flavorful! The crust was gourmet and not greasy. The Boysenberry sauce was coupled well overall where it complemented the slice like marinara sauce usually does.
Next was Boysenberry BBQ Brisket over Mac and Cheese. The mac and cheese was delicious as usual. It used a recipe I’m fond of because of having a meal plan for the park and purposely grabbing it from time to time. The brisket was of a pulled consistency, like a pulled pork, and was juicy. It was a good brisket, though we wish there was a bit more Boysenberry taste to it because it was just a hint of Boysenberry taste.
After a bit of a walking break, it was time to grab some Beef Stew and Biscuit. The biscuit is part of the famous chicken dinner and always a good selection. The stew featured large chunks of meat that were tender and full of Boysenberry stew gravy. It was a flavorful sweet stew that is definitely worth getting.
Later on, we grabbed some Mac and Cheese Bites Over Tater Tots! The mac portion was fried in a crispy breaded coating. The whole dish came with a sriracha Boysenberry ketchup that paired very well with the bites and tots. It was a whole meal in itself! The bites had a nice feature of being truly bite-sized and that made them not a deep-fried overwhelming mouthful.
To wash it down I grabbed an Irish Cream Boysenberry Iced Coffee. It was a very interesting pairing for my taste buds. There was more of a Boysenberry flavor, which I did not mind at all, and the Irish Cream gave it almost a spice to it. It was an excellent adult drink to grab and will be especially nice when the months get warmer.
For dessert, we got a Red Raspberry Cheesecake with Boysenberry Drizzle, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza Slice with Boysenberry Soft Serve, and Boysenberry Bread Pudding. The biggest problem we had is that we got these last after having so many other food items! The Cheesecake was one of Mr. Daps’ highlights from the day…if that says anything about how good it was. The cookie slice was my chosen dessert to partake in. The cookie was a warm and soft, but not terribly big slice. It went very well with the ice cream which was so tasty and airy, which is the way I think soft serve should be. The bread pudding was mostly consumed by Caitie and was a good dessert according to her eating.
In all, it is hard to go wrong with any of the food choices. Though we ended up ranking them each it didn’t mean that we didn’t like any of them. So, it is the good news that you really can’t go wrong with what you eat there.
Knott’s Berry Farm did an outstanding job with decorations amidst the park. It is easy to just spend a lot of time walking around and looking at all the details. There are several floral arrangements that usher in that Springtime feeling. Tons of Boysenberry lights, draperies, statues, and topiaries are spread throughout which make it almost a scavenger hunt to find it all. Over in Camp Snoopy is a bunny’s picnic full of Easter-themed egg statues and rabbits that are lifesize to get photos next to. At night there are some fun projections on display over the rockwork over at the Camp which rounds out the hopping grounds. Fiesta Village gets into the spirit with some festive atmosphere decorations including an umbrella installation above the Village fountain.
There are some great characters all around the park to interact with from safe distances. At the entrance of the Charles M. Schulz Theater is Egbert the Easter Bunny. Guests can go right up to the fence and snap a photo with the distanced bunny. Egbert also has an Easter Egg hunt throughout the park that guests can scan with their phones as they find the hidden eggs. Over in Camp Snoopy has two spots for Peanuts characters. Snoopy, the Easter Beagle is featured at the Camp Snoopy Stage while the rest of the Peanuts group makes appearances deeper into the area. All of them are available for distanced photos, but we had a great time interacting from a distance with them too! Ghost Town has its Calico residents that make appearances above the Saloon and other buildings. They peer over the sides to greet guests and interact from there. At the Boardwalk, there is a “live radio broadcast” that will tickle your funny bone while listening to some classic tunes.
The real highlight was being able to see Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies perform live! For the past few “Taste of” Festivals, the band has been pre-recorded for guests to watch. The bluegrass band is now able to be live on almost every date of the Boysenberry Festival! They are at the same stage in Calico Square that has featured their videos. Performances have been starting at 4 pm, and are different throughout the night. They are a hilarious and talented musical group that easily has everyone tapping their feet then laughing hysterically! One performance of theirs (and we caught them all) had me suspend reality where it felt like I was back on a regular park day enjoying their music. I say this with the disclaimer that I remained seated, distanced, and with a mask on. But, it just gave this sense of safety and comfort that has been lacking for some time. And it was wrapped in some immense fun that gave some belly laughs that were needing to get out for some months now. The Hillbillies, alone, is worth going to the Festival for.
Should You Go?
Yes! Go to the Taste of Boysenberry Festival! Having gone to Festivals of the past there was some concern it would not feel the same. It absolutely did. It has often been hard to capture everything there possibly is to do in the day at those times in the past, and this was no different. One thing I can’t mention a lot of because I didn’t have a chance to do was shopping! There is a wonderful craft fair full of some great artisans that have unique gifts and items to buy! There are some exclusive Knott’s Boysenberry clothes to grab and put on! And not to mention ways to take home some Boysenberry goodness. We were there for about six hours and clearly did not do everything. Plus some amazing food that will easily leave you stuffed but wanting more. It is so wonderful that Knott’s is able to hold the Boysenberry Festival in some form this year since last year was right when COVID struck. Sorry for mentioning that C-word, but I think having this Taste of Boysenberry Festival brings some good vibes back again. That is a huge reason to go out to the Farm and visit Snoopy while eating a Carne Asada pizza!
For more information and tickets, visit knotts.com. Dates are from March 5 – May 1, and there are already dates sold out so be sure to get your tickets soon!