Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA
Hey there ladies and germs, we’re back for another Knott’s Berry Farm update. I know, I know, two berries in one long, hard week. But we’re back with some good ol’ fun on the farm with their all-new Knott’s Summer Nights event.
Apparently Cedar Fair picked up what others are laying down because their parks are starting to roll out the quarterly events like there’s no tomorrow, and that’s not really a bad thing. Within the last few years Knott’s has added the Peanuts Celebration, continued on with the Boysenberry Festival and now we’ve got Summer Nights, which is a welcomed addition to the lineup of events.
We’ll get to the point: it’s a backyard party with thousands of your favorite theme park friends*
*theme park guests are not your friends, nor do you know thousands of these people. Why would you care to know about John Leatham and his family of rugrats from Des Moines on vacation? Also, you probably traveled in a group of like, 2 of you and because you’re from SoCal, you drove separately and took up more parking than you should, but hey, you’re from SoCal, what do you care?
Anyway, the event is great. There’s food, there’s games, and there’s a band that took a really long break. Also a rooftop DJ (take that, Glowfest). So let’s get into it, shaaaaaall we?
Games and Ambiance
Most of the event takes place over on the Calico stage and near the start of the boardwalk. There’s oversized party games to play while you’re out listening to the bands’ sets. It’s a really fun design for the area. Green astro turf covers a huge amount of space for people to rest up on a barrel and snack on some of the summer food offerings (we’ll get to that later). Because I’m lazy and don’t want to caption the rest of these photos, we’ll let the area speak for itself.
If you think we took a photo of a tourist in a smoking jacket and fez, you’re deadass wrong. That dude, and many other characters were a huge and great add-in to the event. The walk around characters such as ‘Duncan Disorderly’ or ‘Anita Drink’ were hilarious characters to interact with. Think of these like the ‘Citizens of Buena Vista Street’, but the cousins you only see at the family reunion once a year and cringe thinking about interacting with on the drive over, but end up realizing they’re actually really awesome people who know how to let loose and have a great, down-home time.
What I’m saying is that you need to give your cousin Eddie a chance. He really does have a heart of gold underneath that black dickie and white sweater of his.
If you’re a longtime reader of Westcoaster, you know that we love to cut jokes and have a good time making fun of things we love (WE LOVE YOU, KNOTT’S BOYSENBERRYLAND). But we’re also honest folks who want the best for the parks we go to and the people who work behind the scenes to make these things happen. So here’s probably the most critical part of the article: THE FOOD WRITE UP.
For the most part, Knott’s does a fantastic job of getting fun themed food for their events. Boysenberry Festival is very obviously one of those fantastic jobs. But this one, in our opinion fell short on the food. Let’s start with the hits though.
The Kebabs were delicious. The meat was tender, veggies crunchy and all with great flavor. Definitely a hit with this one.
Flavored lemonades were AMAZING. We had the watermelon and boysenberry lemonades. While the boysenberry was definitely quite tart, the watermelon was refreshing. Both very good options regardless.
Esquites (corn cup) was another great addition. It’s a small offering, but packs a big punch with flavor.
Peach cobbler and farmers shortcake was AMAZING. These two were sweet, moist and loaded with fantastically great flavor. You HAVE to get these. They’re both amazing.
Sausage on a bun. Why? Because sausage on a bun. Also muy delicioso.
Churro loops were okay. The ones we had were pretty dry and the frosting felt like it was just donut frosting. Nothing really to write home about.
Fish tacos were listed on the tasting cards, but we got there and they had shrimp. That’s like saying Jaques is actually Nemo. I WANT NEMO, DAMMIT. But seriously though, the shrimp tacos were okay, but a bit overcooked with little flavoring to it.
Food cards have two different spots to get wines and beers, but the beer list (if you’re a beer fan) is paltry. Budweiser, boysenberry beer, and two other high-distributed beers. Here in SoCal, there’s a major craft brewery scene that’s starting to rival the long-standing likes of San Diego and San Francisco areas. Why not work with your local boys and tap their kegs to get some local flavor in your backyard party, eh?
The food card, again in our opinion didn’t really have much unique stuff to stand out. With two of the food stands offering assorted beers/wines, this could have been a great opportunity to throw in some other food or drinks like a build your own nacho stand.
One thing Knott’s is great at is entertainment. From their in-park work to bringing in outside bands, I don’t think I’ve seen a bad show at the park. But one of the biggest offerings that ties this whole thing together in a nice bow is the music. There’s a variety of sets throughout the night, and a huge lineup of bands playing now until August. The first night was Hiatus, which was a really fun cover band that rolled through new songs and classics.
If you’re looking to mellow out a little more than hearing ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ as your seven year old learns how to play beer bong at the Calico Stage, swing over to check out Doug Legacy and the Zydeco Cajun Party Band. They accent the area nicely and are honestly just really fun guys to listen to.
Filling in all corners of the musical genres, there’s a DJ on the roof of the gift shop by Hangtime that plays between sets. He spins some great music, and keeps the crowds really energized.
As a nice add in, we stopped by on our way out to see Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. Since leaving Disney, I think this was the first time any of the Westcoaster team saw Billy Hill, or Krazy Kirk, or whatever his name will be by the time he exhausts the SoCal theme park market.
That about wraps it up. If you’re around SoCal this summer and want a really fun event to go to, then come down to Knott’s for a day (and night). As a whole, this is a really great addition to summer. It’s a very fun, laid back event that the entire family can enjoy. Bands alternate dates, so check their website for info on the date you’d like to visit.
Until we head back to the farm for more of that peach cobbler, we’re gonna get back to tweeting about idiot fans who like to lick things.
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.