The Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival is a must-see event for any foodie or theme park enthusiast. Held annually at the park in Buena Park, California, the festival is a celebration of all things boysenberry, from savory dishes to sweet treats and everything in between. As a fan of Knott’s Berry Farm and food, I was excited to attend the Boysenberry Festival this year and try out some of the new and returning dishes on the menu. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
This post was sponsored by Visit Buena Park and contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Details
The Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival takes place March 10 – April 16, 2023. Originally, the festival launched in 2014 as a way to celebrate the park’s origins in agriculture and to celebrate the boysenberry, a fruit that was first farmed by the park’s founder, Walter Knott. Today, the festival has become a popular annual event that draws hundreds of visitors from all over the world.
The festival offers a variety of boysenberry-themed food and drink offerings, from boysenberry BBQ sauce to boysenberry sangria. There are also games, as well as live entertainment, and other special activities like a boysenberry pie eating contest.
Discount Knott’s Berry Farm Tickets!
Come to California’s 1st Theme Park for big thrills for the big kids and enough fun stuff for the tiny tots too! Includes one-day admission and unlimited use of rides (height restrictions apply), shows, and attractions to Knott’s Berry Farm.
To access all of the offerings you will want to invest in a tasting card. For $55, you get up to six tastings from several themed food booths. Along with food, you can also use the tasting card to get boysenberry beer, wine, sangria, seltzer, mudslides, or hard cider, as well as nonalcoholic beverages.
I liked that Knott’s Tasting Card was a plastic card on a lanyard. To redeem, guests can have their card scanned, and it’s nice to not have to worry about stamps or tear-off tickets which can get lost or stolen easily.
You will also need a Knott’s Berry Farm ticket to access the park!
Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Food
One of my absolute favorite dishes from the festival was jambalaya with boysenberry sausage. This hearty and flavorful dish combines shrimp, tender chicken, and boysenberry sausage with a rich tomato-based sauce with just a hint of spice. It was the perfect balance of spicy and sweet and since it was misting in the park, I was happy to start with a warm dish.
Another highlight of the festival was the boysenberry sangria. Made with a blend of red wine, boysenberry juice, and fresh fruit, this refreshing beverage perfectly accompanies a warm dish on a chilly spring day. It was sweet without being too sweet, and citrus gave it a bright flavor. A warning though, it is pretty strong so if wine isn’t your thing, stick with the boysenberry margarita or boysenberry float with a dollop of boysenberry soft serve.
We also ended up trying the BBQ beef tips with parmesan grits which really surprised us with its tender meat and deep flavor. The BBQ sauce was tangy and slightly sweet and thick enough that it didn’t make the grits at the bottom soupy. Both the jambalaya and the beef tips were big enough to share and they don’t skimp on the portions!
Unfortunately, not every dish at the Boysenberry Festival was a winner for me. I was disappointed by the boysenberry waffle, which was too dense and heavy to really enjoy. While the boysenberry syrup drizzled on top was delicious, the waffle itself was too thick and didn’t have the light and fluffy texture I was hoping for. The corn fritters with boysenberry drizzle weren’t my favorite either as they were stuffed with corn kernels which was a surprise.
We also tried the boysenberry iced tea with mint and it just tasted like a sweetened iced tea. I didn’t really detect a berry flavor at all which was disappointing.
Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Shopping
Knott’s Berry Farm has about 30 vendors out during the Boysenberry Festival selling their wares. We saw clothing, housewares, decor, and jewelry and there is even a booth to purchase your own boysenberry plant! In addition, Boysenberry Festival-themed items are also available in all of the shops in the park!
Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Entertainment
This year Knott’s launched Knott’s Preserved: A Musical Celebration which celebrates the history of Knott’s through music, storytelling and dancing. In addition, there is the Riverboat Revenge show plus the band Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies return to provide music throughout the park.
The Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival was a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend to anyone. The unique thing about Knott’s is that it caters to die-hard theme park fans, families with children, or simply lovers of good food. From savory dishes like the jambalaya with boysenberry sausage to sweet treats like the boysenberry cheesecake or corn fritters, there’s something for everyone at this annual event.