Knott's Berry Farm - Knott's Boysenberry Festival

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Favorites From 3 Different Perspectives

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival is now being enjoyed daily by guests at Knott’s Berry Farm. This is a festival that has plenty of delicious boysenberry foods, entertainment, artwork, and other experiences to enjoy on select days throughout March and April. It is one of the Daps Magic team’s favorite festivals at Knott’s Berry Farm and is a perfect way to ring in spring.

Recently, the Daps Magic team was invited to Knott’s Berry Farm to experience the opening weekend of Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. Three team members (Mr. Daps, Angela, and Doug) all enjoyed a day experiencing all that the Boysenberry Festival had to offer. All three of us had different takeaways and favorites from the day. Below are those thoughts and opinions. Check them out and then share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


Here are my top 5 things I experienced at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival! 

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1. “Knott’s Preserved: A Musical Celebration”

It’s quite the milestone when a theme park reaches 100 years old, and Knott’s Berry Farm has every reason to celebrate. Premiering in 2023, “Knott’s Preserved: A Musical Celebration” is a charming look back at the park’s origins and first century interpreted beautifully into song and dance. “Knott’s Preserved” was my favorite experience of the day because of its high production value, toe tapping melodies, and thoughtful homage to the park’s founders and storied history. There really is something for everyone in the family to love about this show!

2. Floral Displays During Boysenberry Festival

A favorite pick of mine may fly under the radar for some, but for me, it’s a big reason why the Boysenberry Festival is something I look forward to every year. The lush and colorful floral decor expertly placed throughout the park is absolutely gorgeous. Starting with the elaborate display at the park’s entrance, the arrangements set the scene for a day of sumptuous sights and tastes. The mix of bright colors and spring textures never fails to make me happy. After all, what’s a theme park for if not to pull guests into a world of fantasy and delight?

3. Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card

The headliner of Knott’s Boysenberry Festival has to be its food tastings. Boysenberry is in the name of the event, after all! And wow, does that little berry pack a versatile and delicious punch! There are so many excellent dishes and drinks that I loved this year. In my opinion, the best way to really dig into the full array of festival food offerings is to purchase a tasting card. Six tastings come with the lanyard for $55 plus tax, which saves money on every item. My mouth is already watering thinking back to all of my favorites!

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4. Updated “Riverboat Revenge” Show

In my opinion, a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm is not complete without seeing a show in the Bird Cage Theatre. The classic melodrama “Riverboat Revenge” is back for the Boysenberry Festival this year but with some notable modern touches. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed myself more booing the villain, sighing over the heroine, or cheering the hero! The cast is truly talented and breathes life into this show, taking moments to ad-lib to the crowd’s delight. Add in a fun plot and a live piano player and you have an instant favorite!

5. Creative Boysenberry Festival Merchandise

I feel like the merch designers for this year’s Boysenberry Festival really deserve a round of applause. From Betty Boysen, the charismatic stuffed berry character, to cozy pie slice-shaped fuzzy slippers, to an elegant berry-adorned Spirit Jersey, to reversible boysenberry/pie slice stuffed pillows, the choices are on point! The designs are so inspired that I couldn’t help but smile. There really is something for everyone this year!


In looking at a day spent enjoying the Knotts Boysenberry Festival, what stands out for me are those unique experiences that evoke fond memories, or create new ones. Two that spring readily to mind are the Boysenberry Pie Eating Contest, and the old-fashioned melodrama presented live on stage at the Bird Cage Theater.

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There is something quintessentially American about a pie eating contest. The very idea of it conjures images of county fairs, wholesome kids, a whiff of conspicuous consumption (All. That. Pie!), and, of course, competition. Even when it’s happening live on stage in 2024, all these things spring to mind.

The Knotts version has a few wrinkles. Guests register on the day of competition but are drawn at random from the stage. So while we might (and did) get to see a freckle-faced red-headed little boy who needed to stand on a box to lean over his pie, we also had a fairly good cross-section of twenty-first-century Orange County residents. Perhaps out of deference to modern dietary preferences, it is not necessary to actually eat the whole pie, just to efficiently move it out of the pan and onto the table. Adhering to tradition, this must be accomplished with both hands held firmly behind the back, and without letting the pie pan off of the table. And, of course, it is messy. Very, very messy. And giddy. And isn’t that what you would want from a good old-fashioned pie eating contest?

After being entertained by amateurs in competition, moving on to the Bird Cage Theater at Knotts offers professionals working together in harmony. The offering during the Boysenberry Festival is Riverboat Revenge. There’s drama! There’s romance! There’s music! And, of course, there’s a vamp, a villain, a damsel in distress and our hero. Was it superfluous for a host to introduce the show and explain the proceedings? It’s hubba- hubba for the vamp, sighs for the damsel, hisses for the villain, and cheers for our hero. What could be simpler?

I did not expect the show to open with a musical number, let alone a song from a half-remembered movie. Most of the cast sang it: “We could have been anything we wanted to be.” It took a quick search of the internet at home to find that it was a number called “Bad Guys” from a very quirky 1976 comedy-crime-musical called Bugsy Malone.

But I digress.

Riverboat Revenge was pretty much everything you could want in an old-fashioned melodrama. An odious villain, aided by a scheming vixen attempts to “fix” a riverboat race, while kidnapping his rival’s sweet, virtuous daughter. Good thing our hero is not only handy with his fists but is the best pilot on the river. If you need to hear any more, you haven’t been paying attention. Just go see it.

Mr. Daps

For over a decade now, Daps Magic has been covering the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. Each year I find myself enjoying this celebration of all that is Boysenberry more and more. As time goes on, I really have found that I love the culture and Knott’s Berry Farm experience, especially during this festival. I’ve also found that I have some favorites that have developed through the years and continue to solidify as favorites, along with some new favorites.

First off, my absolute favorite offering at the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival EVERY year is the Pie Eating Contest. This is such a wonderful blast of nostalgia that is also hilarious. After all, what could be better than six people of varying ages on a stage shoving their faces into the legendary Boysenberry Pies from Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner? This is easily my favorite tradition at Knott’s Berry Farm year-round and one I look forward to every spring! This year was no different and I found myself enjoying it even more than ever before!

Another favorite offering at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival is the stage shows. Last year a new show was introduced, Knott’s Preserved: A Musical Celebration. This captures all the charm of the Knott’s Berry Farm large stage shows with music, dancing, singing, and a whole lot of nostalgic fun. It is also is fairly easy to watch as it is outdoors with plenty of viewing space!

Finally, what would Knott’s Boysenberry Festival be without Boysenberry foods? While my favorite will ALWAYS be the Boysenberry Pies, there are some other delicious offerings this year. I loved the Boysenberry BBQ Beef Barbacoa on Mac & Cheese with Green Onions, the Boysenberry Pulled Pork over Pastel de Elote, and for dessert the Mini Funnel Cake with Boysenberry Ice Cream and Powdered Sugar this year. There were many other really delicious offerings as well, including the Peache and Cheese Burrata Caprese Salad with a Boysenberry Dressing. I have returned a couple of times now to enjoy different offerings from the festival and I look forward to returning for more!

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I also should give a nod to Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. I love catching their performances as well! While they aren’t necessarily exclusive to Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, they are a must-see when at Knott’s Berry Farm!

The 2024 Knott’s Boysenberry Festival began on March 8th and will be running on select days through April 28. This is the most delicious festival of the year at Knott’s Berry Farm and is full of delightful boysenberry dishes, entertainment, merchandise, and a whole lot more! It is a festival that really shouldn’t be missed at Knott’s Berry Farm! This year also sees the reimagined Knott’s Hotel welcoming guests. It looks great.

Daps Magic also has created a guide with all of the offerings and locations for this year’s tasting card during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. It can be found here:

What do you think of the 2024 Knott’s Boysenberry Festival? What are your favorite parts of this festival? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!