Knott's Boysenberry Festival 2019 Tasting Event

Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA

In Southern California’s theme park landscape, the later winter/spring season used to be a slow period, due to a reduction of tourists after the winter holidays before Memorial Day kicks off another summer rush. But these days, parks have been doing more to attract visitors both local and distant, and one of the strategies that has gained a lot of steam over the past several years has been the use of food and beverage festivals to lure guests in. This has been especially effective given SoCal’s foodie culture that has really gained a lot of traction over the past half decade, and the leaders of the theme park fooding experiences have been Disney and Knott’s.

We covered Disney’s Food & Wine Festival last week, and this week, we’re here with a preview of Knott’s annual event, the Boysenberry Festival, which begins on Friday, March 29 this year and is now spanning an entire month, through Sunday, April 28! Last night, Knott’s hosted a delicious tasting event for local media showcasing new creations that will be featured in this year’s event, along with new merchandise and a preview of this year’s “Tied Up in Knott’s” art gallery. If you love all things boysenberry, you’re not going to want to visit. So lets take a trip through Ghost Town and see what’s in store for our stomachs and our taste buds!

The Food

Just like the Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure, the highlight of the Boysenberry Festival is the food and the beverages. This year, the Wilderness Dance Hall will once again play host to a selection of gourmet wine and beer samplings, while specialty boysenberry items will be available for purchase throughout the park.

There will be once again a series of wine and beer booths inside the Wilderness Dance Hall for guests who purchase a tasting card.

There will be once again a series of wine and beer booths inside the Wilderness Dance Hall for guests who purchase a tasting card.

Last night, these booths played double duty and also offered some of the specialty foods to be featured in this year’s Boysenberry Festival!

Last night, these booths played double duty and also offered some of the specialty foods to be featured in this year’s Boysenberry Festival!

Most of the wineries from past years return.

Most of the wineries from past years return.

This year brings many returning favorites but some new creations as well, and we were able to see all of them and devour many of them. The boysenberry plays a common theme in all of them—featured as dressing or sauce or infused into a major ingredient or as topping. And while there is the usual carnival-esque food beast items that seem aimed at going viral and giving your digestive system a thrill rides, this year also features a couple of healthier or traditional options. Flip through the photos to see what your mouth can expect in a few weeks!

Chef Bobby Obezo presents a Boysenberry Pot Roast with boysenberry mashed potatoes and gourmet carrots. It’s one of the best dishes at the festival this year!

Chef Bobby Obezo presents a Boysenberry Pot Roast with boysenberry mashed potatoes and gourmet carrots. It’s one of the best dishes at the festival this year!

Boysenberry Elote is back is oh so delicious!

Boysenberry Elote is back is oh so delicious!

There are a variety of savories available. From far left to right…  - Boysenberry Pulled Pork Tostada… unfortunately a little bland and not that great when I tried it. - Boysenberry Chili in a Boysenberry Bread Bowl… hearty, slightly tangy, and pretty scumptious! - Boysenberry Sausage… this returning favorite is absolutely delicious and a must try. - Boysenberry Elote… unless you hate mayonnaise-based foods, you need to have this. - Boysenberry Chicken Wings… another returning favorite is still as good as usual! - Boysenberry Mac ‘n’ Cheese… New for this year, and pretty darn good (though the one I tried might have been a little overcooked, the flavor was excellent). - Boysenberry Jambalaya… tasty, but I couldn’t really get much boysenberry from it, other than the berry garnish.

There are a variety of savories available. From far left to right…

- Boysenberry Pulled Pork Tostada… unfortunately a little bland and not that great when I tried it.
- Boysenberry Chili in a Boysenberry Bread Bowl… hearty, slightly tangy, and pretty scumptious!
- Boysenberry Sausage… this returning favorite is absolutely delicious and a must try.
- Boysenberry Elote… unless you hate mayonnaise-based foods, you need to have this.
- Boysenberry Chicken Wings… another returning favorite is still as good as usual!
- Boysenberry Mac ‘n’ Cheese… New for this year, and pretty darn good (though the one I tried might have been a little overcooked, the flavor was excellent).
- Boysenberry Jambalaya… tasty, but I couldn’t really get much boysenberry from it, other than the berry garnish.

The Berry Beast is a monster of a creation that might need to be special ordered and shared by multiple people. This is a Berry intense food challenge!

The Berry Beast is a monster of a creation that might need to be special ordered and shared by multiple people. This is a Berry intense food challenge!

Steak and Chicken Skewers with Boysenberry Sour Cream… the chicken was tender and very flavorful; the steak had nice flavor but was unfortunately overdone and not that tender and may be hit or miss.

Steak and Chicken Skewers with Boysenberry Sour Cream… the chicken was tender and very flavorful; the steak had nice flavor but was unfortunately overdone and not that tender and may be hit or miss.

Boysenberry Salmon over Mixed Greens… a surprisingly healthy offering, served with boysenberries and blueberries in a fresh and wonderful departure from the heaviness of most of the other dishes. One of my favorites!

Boysenberry Salmon over Mixed Greens… a surprisingly healthy offering, served with boysenberries and blueberries in a fresh and wonderful departure from the heaviness of most of the other dishes. One of my favorites!

For this year, Yogurtland has partnered with Knott’s to offer Boysenberry Frozen Yogurt! I thought it would be available at Knott’s Only, but it will be sold at regular Yogurtland locations too!

For this year, Yogurtland has partnered with Knott’s to offer Boysenberry Frozen Yogurt! I thought it would be available at Knott’s Only, but it will be sold at regular Yogurtland locations too!

Here are some close-ups of the individual dishes on display!

Boysenberry Festival Merchandise

There are a ton of boysenberry souvenirs available beyond just the edible type too. From preserves to cobbler mix to boysenberry soda and fudge and candy and T-shirts and hats, and more, there is plenty to purchase and take home as a keepsake for the Boysenberry Festival. Knott’s had a great spread of the items that will be featured in shops and stands throughout Ghost Town this year, and they look fantastic!

Tied Up in Knott’s Art Show

Returning this year is a selection of artwork created by Knott’s artists and employees across various fields, showcasing a tribute to memories and characters and features of the park—both past and present. This is a great chance to feature the creative side of Knott’s employees—many of whom are not employed in official artistic positions (though many are). The originals are available to purchase, and though I didn’t confirm, I’m hoping that prints of some of these might be available, similar to during Knott’s Scary Farm!

So that’s it for this quick preview. The Boysenberry Festival starts in earnest three Fridays from now, and if you haven’t visited before, I definitely recommend it. In addition to everything above, there will be activities and special entertainment offered. Just make sure you bring an empty stomach, because the Festival is sure to offer much for its enjoyment!

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.