Major California Theme Park Receives Backlash As They Cancel Festival Entertainment

in Knott's Berry Farm, Theme Parks

Knott's Berry Farm theme park view

Credit: Knott's Berry Farm

Each year, Knott’s Berry Farm hosts the Boysenberry Festival.

Similar to EPCOT’s Food & Wine or SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival, the Boysenberry Festival offers a variety of dishes and savory treats throughout the Park each year in March and April. Described as a festival that “celebrates the park’s historic roots by highlighting the little berry that started it all,” the dishes offered feature a boysenberry twist to them, and include desserts and a variety of wine and beer. The Park also offers a selection of local crafters and live entertainment during the festival.

Walter and Cordelia Knott in front of one of their earliest berry stands- Knott's Berry Farm
Credit: Orange County Archives

Guests to Knott’s Berry are able to experience the rides and attractions as well as limited-time entertainment, such as Knott’s Preserved: A Musical Celebration, Riverboat Revenge, and Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. However, it seems as though the entertainment offerings this year are extremely limited compared to previous years, as Twitter user @Cartarsauce took to the social media platform to express his disappointment at the fact that several shows are not scheduled to return for this year’s festival.

When a different comment points out that there are still shows scheduled for the weekend, he follows up by saying

“Glad the big shows are still there but a lot of the charm is found in the little things on the farm. Especially the live music. The Saloon alone is a legacy attraction to the park.”

Other commenters agreed, saying it was a “bummer” that the shows have been canceled and even complaining about the quality of the food, implying that although the Park “was the shining star coming out of the Pandemic,” it’s quickly losing its quality.

Aerial view of Knott's Berry Farm, California theme park, posted by the LA Times
Credit: LA Times

It’s unclear if the entertainment cuts are due to staffing shortages, financial issues, or something else. Knott’s Berry Farm recently implemented a “chaperone rule,” requiring all Guests under 17 years of age be in attendance with a guardian at least 21 or older. Before this rule, the Park was a hang-out spot for local teens. Over the last couple of years, the Park has reported fights and violent encounters among Guests, leading to the implementation of the chaperone rule. It’s possible that this has led to a decrease in attendance, causing a domino effect of a decrease in revenue and therefore budget cuts.

With the 50th anniversary of Knott’s Scary Farm coming up this year, it remains to be seen how the spooky seasonal event will be affected.

in Knott's Berry Farm, Theme Parks

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