What You’ll Find at the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival (Including VR Robots and Boomerangs Final Days)

Knott’s Berry Farm kicks off their fourth annual Boysenberry festival this Saturday, April 1st, with loads of boysenberry food, special events, the final days of a roller coaster, and a new VR attraction. The festival began four years ago in celebration of the history of Knott’s (where the Boysenberry was basically created), and was the start of a growing number of food festivals across Cedar Fair parks. The festival also unofficially kicks off the Spring/Summer season for Knott’s. This year the festival is running longer than ever before, going for over 3 weeks from April 1st to April 23rd. Here’s our rundown of everything you’ll find at the festival, from attractions to some of the new (and old) delicacies.

The 4th Annual Knott’s Boysenberry Festival begins this weekend

Showdown in GhostTown VR

Knott’s recently announced that they were introducing a new upcharge VR experience to the park. The attraction, called “VR Showdown in Ghost Town”, is a free roaming experience where guests enter a virtual reality version of Ghost Town. The virtual Ghost Town, recreated from the actual Knott’s section of the park, is under attack by robot marauders, and guests need to defend the town.

The VR Showdown in Ghost Town features a virtual recreation of Knott’s’ Ghost Town.

“Two players can physically walk around the space, and each other, in Ghost Town,” said Ivan Blaustein, a producer with VR Studios, the company that developed the experience with Knott’s. While only two are in the same physical space, up to four will be in the same virtual town, and the VR Studios headsets allow guests to wander around the space unencumbered, ducking behind virtual objects as they fight the robots.

Two player occupy the same real life area, while up to four guests are in the same virtual Ghost Town (courtesy OC Register)

The attraction is located in the arcade area below Voyage to the Iron Reef, and it will cost $6 to use. It’s probably best to think of it more as a super advanced arcade game than a theme park ride. Inside the Magic has a preview of the attraction with some more details, I’d recommend checking it out. VR Showdown in Ghost Town will open up to the public with the start of the Boysenberry Festival on April 1st.

Last Chance to Ride Boomerang

The Boysenberry Festival is also the last chance for guests to ride Boomerang, the Knott’s version of the common Vekoma roller coaster. Boomerang opened at Knott’s in 1990, making it one of the parks oldest roller coasters. An interesting historical footnote about it, when it opened it replaced “Corkscrew”, the first modern inverting coaster (and prototype for additional Arrow Corkscrew coasters). Corkscrew was also the first coaster with multiple inversions. It was moved to Silverwood in 1990 to make room for Boomerang, where it still operates.

There’s no word on whether Boomerang will be sold or relocated to another park (maybe somewhere else in the Cedar Fair family?). We also don’t know what will be in that space once it’s removed, but it’s safe to guess Knott’s has some plans, maybe for a 2018 attraction. For now, Boomerang will keep operating through the Boysenberry festival, closing after April 23.

Boysenberry Festival Food

Delicious boysenberrys in everything!

The real highlight of the Boysenberry Festival, of course, is the food itself. This years expanded festival won’t just be longer but will also feature even more food. The festival will have “over 75 one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired items.” The mix includes a wide range of new dishes, as well as a bunch of returning popular options from past years.

Boysenberry pizza is one of the new offerings this year.

The new items include boysenberry pizza with arugula, goat cheese, and black forest ham, a boysenberry ravioli, corn on the cob with boysenberry butter, and boysenberry fry bread. Among the returning dishes are boysenberry meatballs, boysenberry BBQ wings, and fried alligator with boysenberry ailoi.

Boysenberry ravioli is another of the new options coming, and it looks pretty tasty.

Fried alligator with boysenberry sauce is one of the returning favorites.

Boysenberry butter probably works on anything.

The boysenberry fry bread looks pretty decadent.

On the beverage side of things the park will have boysenberry cream soda, boysenberry ICEEs, boysenberry lattes, and more. There will also be a craft beer and wine garden which will include boysenberry beer and boysenberry wine (along with more traditional brews and wines). The full list of boysenberry treats can be found here. Additionally, this year will be able to buy tasting cards for some of the dishes online instead of having to buy at the park (although you can still do that).

Events and Souvenirs

Along with all the food and drink, several “classic” Knott’s entertainment events will be coming to the festival. This includes pie eating contests (of course), and, for the first time in over 20 years, the return of the “Old Time Melodrama” to the Bird Cage theater. The Ghost Town Town Hall will be showing a film about the history of Walter and Cordelia Knott and how they introduced the boysenberry to the world. Tons of more special live shows and experiences are happening as well, and you can find more about all of them here.

Finally, on top of all the food and entertainment, and the new VR attraction and departing Boomerang, you’ll be able to find lots of special boysenberry souvenirs. The craft shops in Ghost Town will have things like boysenberry soap and lip balm, and you can take home your own boysenberry plants.

You can even take home your own boysenberry plant.

All in all, looks like Knott’s is going bigger and bigger with their 4th annual Boysenberry festival, and it’s a great time to head to the park. The full details of the festival can be found on the huge Knott’s website for it. Have you ever been to the festival, or are you thinking of going this year? Let us know what your favorite boysenberry treats have been in comments below! And keep following Coaster101 for more on park openings and upcoming events at parks across the country.