Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA
It's the end of the week, and we're back at Knott's Berry Farm to check out their new Peanuts Celebration event, which started last Friday and runs weekends plus Presidents Day through Sunday, February 25. This is the first year Knott's has held this new seasonal celebration, but it's dedicated to a longtime resident Knott's franchise, the Peanuts. The park has been decorated with decor in the vein of the beloved classic comic strip series, while meet-and-greets and special shows bring guests even closer to their favorite Peanuts characters. It's a great event for the family and the young at heart, so lets check out what's happening at the ol' Berry Farm this month!
Peanuts are present throughout the park, not just Camp Snoopy. Banners throughout the park mark the Peanuts Celebration, and there are photo ops with characters and dioramas that are pretty darn cute. There's even a scattering of Charlie Brown kites stuck in trees all over the park--a nod to the kite-eating tree from the series!
Pigpen's Pig Pen
One of the features this year is the debut of Pigpen as a meet-and-greet character at Knott's Berry Farm. Apparently, in all the years the Peanuts have been hanging out around Beach Boulevard, Pigpen has never been able to join them. But in the Peanuts Celebration, that's changed, as Pigpen is now featured inside the Livery Stable, which has been appropriately named Pigpen's Pig Pen. The usual assortment of animals are still in the stable--horses and a donkey. And there are also little piggies, for those who enjoy pre-cooked bacon.
A Trip to Beagle Bonanza -- Grand Sierra Railroad
The Camp Snoopy-based Grand Sierra Railroad has also received a facelift during this event, taking riders on a fun journey to the Beagle Bonanza to see Snoopy and his family and friends play a special concert! The ride swings by multiple delightful dioramas, and a big shout out goes to the Knott's carpentry and paint crew, which pushed through long hours to get everything ready in time and produced some really freaking adorable scenes. They did a truly terrific job!
Over at the Calico Town Hall, near the Old School House in Ghost Town, the interior has been transformed into a little museum dedicated to the life of Charles M. Schulz and his famous creations. The history of Peanuts and Schulz's fantastic sketch work is chronicled through displays and a documentary video, and it's worth a visit to appreciate the simple artistry of Schulz's talent.
In addition to the atmospheric features, Knott's Peanuts Celebration also features several shows crafted just for this seasonal event. They take place at the Calico Stage (where The Hanging and Knott's big outdoor summer shows take place), Calico Park, the Camp Snoopy Theater, the Fiesta Plaza Stage, and the Bird Cage Theatre in Ghost Town. Lets see what's offered!
The Music Goes 'Round and Around
The daytime Calico Stage show is a celebration of various genres of music, from swing to bluegrass to rock and roll, and features a pair of energetic, costume-changing singers and the Peanuts gang. Of course, being a music-centric show, Schroeder feature prominently. But Snoopy and Sally play a part too, and the cheerful affair is full of musical fun!
The Music Goes 'Round and Around occurs at 2:00pm and 3:15pm.
Peanuts Cowboy Jamboree
Multiple times throughout the day, kids can join Franklin and Linus at Calico Park (site of the old Hanging outdoor show stage) in a variety of games and activities. The two Peanuts pals are dressed in their cowboy gear, and they challenge guests to tests of skill in games like pony horse races, a pie toss, bean bag throwing, and more. This is a more casual affair, designed for character interaction, rather than serve as a formal show.
Peanuts Cowboy Jamboree occurs at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 4;15pm, and 5:30pm.
Lucy & Charlie's Balancing Act
Over at the Camp Snoopy Theater, Lucy van Pelt and Charlie Brown learn that there can be a lot of fun in exercising, which helps them balance their apparent normal routine of playing video games during their spare time. This show is especially geared to children, especially with an extremely energetic host in Coach Biffy Buzz who spouts catchphrases and portrays herself as the happiest motivational helper you've ever met. Lucy and Charlie Brown engage a variety of ways to work out, culminating in Charlie Brown attempting to fulfill his lifelong dream of kicking a football. Does he do it? Well, history might suggest one answer.
Lucy & Charlie's Balancing Act takes place at 1:00pm, 2:15pm, 3:30pm, 4:45pm, 6:15pm, and 7:30pm.
Lucy & Sally's Fiesta Fantasy
In Fiesta Village, the relatively quick-running Lucy & Sally's Fiesta Fantasy sees Lucy and Sally learn some cultural dances from the Mexican culture. With their host, Carlos, and the consistently praised guitarist, Sergio, Lucy and Sally show off their dance moves and even invite the crowd to join them. The show is a speedy ten minutes long, but it's pretty direct and efficient with its time.
Lucy & Sally's Fiesta Fantasy runs at 3:30pm, 4:45pm, 6:00pm, 7:15pm, and 8:00pm.
Peanuts Sketch School
Another not-quite-show occurs at the Bird Cage Theatre, where multiple times throughout the day, guests can learn to sketch different Peanuts characters. This is very similar to the Animation Academy at California Adventure. Resident Knott's Peanuts artist, Noel, gives a simple guide on how to draw characters like Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown, and Pigpen. Each exhibit is followed by a showing of select classic Peanuts cartoons.
Peanuts Sketch School takes place at 11:00am, 12:15pm, 1:30pm, 2;45pm, 4:00pm, and 5:15pm.
Woodstock's Music Festival
Finally, Woodstock's Music Festival takes over the Calico Stage at night. This is basically a feature performance by the family-friendly band, Jelly Club of the Month--a band made up in part by members of the bands Sublime and The Ziggens promoting silly, ska-punk songs. They reminded me a bit of bands like Reel Big Fish, but with more kid-centric themes. Lucy and Charlie Brown make appearances both before and during the show, and though the content can be pretty absurd at times, it's great fun for audiences of all ages.
That's it from the Farm and the local parks this week. It's been a plethora of updates to make up for our break earlier this month (i.e. my vacation), and I hope you've enjoyed them. Knott's Peanuts Celebration is a very nice event that joins the successful seasonal promotions Knott's has been offering the past few years, including the Boysenberry Festival and Ghost Town Alive! Of course, those join perennial seasonal favorites, Knott's Scary Farm and Knott's Merry Farm.
The park was pretty darn busy last Saturday. Part of that was undoubtedly from the Peanuts Celebration media day, but there were plenty of regular guests as well. This is a great sign of the success and payoff Knott's has enjoyed over the past few years, thanks to their infrastructure investment and refurbishment of longtime park staples. Guests recognize the history and charm that the park brings--especially as a less expensive alternative to the big parks down the street, and Knott's has reaped the rewards of their efforts. With HangTime coming later this year, I can only imagine attendance growth will continue like it has in 2015 and 2016 (figures for last year have not been released yet).
So all in all, Knott's Berry Farm seems to be in a great place and headed to even better places. All the more reason to stop by for a visit! And if it's on a weekend from now through February 25, you'll even be able to see more Peanuts!
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