Over the weekend we were invited out to Knott's Berry Farm to partake in this years Boysenberry Festival. This year the event has gotten even bigger and if the first day of the event is any indication, much more popular, which is great to see.
We also took some time to check out the Boysenberry Pie eating competition which was great fun.
Pictures and Words by Gregg Condon
Welcome to the Boysenberry Festival!!
Lots of great decorations all around Ghost Town and all of the locations that have Boysenberry Festival items are marked with a Boysenberry.
Kristi and Josh are sure enjoying the festival.
One of the biggest treats for me personally was the Beary Tales Pie Kitchen, although it did make me miss the ride even more.
And seeing how fast the Beary Tales merchandise was flying off the shelves it makes you realize a lot of people have a fondness for the ride.
Really nice decorations
As you can see, the festival is VERY popular, which is absolutely great to see. Please support these kinds of things so they will come back!!!
Even with the crowds, the lines for the food items were no more than 10 minutes or so. The employees were great all day.
Of course the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting was back in the Wilderness Dance Hall.
We tried some great wines and my favorites were a nice Cabernet and the Boysenberry Wine. While most preferred the Boysenberry Cider to the Boysenberry Beer, I enjoyed the beer a bit more.
The Wine Tasting is such a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the park and we enjoyed catching up with some of our favorite theme park site friends from Theme Park Adventure and The Coaster Guy.
Oh yeah, there was food ... lots and lots of food. So much food that we really didn't even have enough room in our belly's to try it all and all really feel we need another visit to try everything else.
The Fun Bun!!! We actually brought one of these home, and it was just as good the following morning.
Basically, the Fun Bun is a Cinnamon Roll, fried in Funnel Cake Batter and topped with a Boysenberry topping. It's amazing.
Boysenberry Wings (sorry, we ate some before we took a picture) and Boysenberry Trifle.
Alligator Bites and Cheese Curds. One thing I would suggest on these, have a non-fries option. We got two of each for our group which meant we had a plethora of fries left over.
Finally this year you can take home your own bottle(s) of the Boysenberry BBQ sauce. At only $5.99 a bottle it's a great deal, and with a Season pass Discount it's even better. =)
The Beary Tales shirts were flying off the shelf. It was hard to find the black shirt below in my size by 1:00pm.
Other things included Boysenberry Cotton Candy, Boysenberry Honey, Coffee Mugs, Hats, Berry Festival Shirts, Magnets, Key Chains and much more.
Knott's also held their first Boysenberry Pie Eating Contest.
The always entertaining Mayor and his lovely wife. We actually got some one-on-one time with them in the Wine Tasting and they invited us over for dinner and Boysenberry Wine. Well, we had to have our people's, people's, people call their people's, people's, people.
Since we have no people, I guess we'll just have to be happy to see them around town. =)
While the MC from Major League Eating may have gone on a bit (a lot) too long given the 90 degree temperatures, it was still great fun.
Having some fun introducing the competitors
After about a 45 minute pre-show, it's time to get to eating.
It was honestly quite entertaining seeing the different strategies and how these people get so much food consumed in such a short time.
Joey Chestnut who held 35 world records prior to this competition
And with that another day at the Knott's Boysenberry Festival comes to an end.
Thanks so much to Knott's for having us out and for the tremendous hospitality. We truly appreciate it. And as always it was really nice seeing such great friends as Jim from Westcoaster, Tim from Knott's Network, Kolby from Kolby Konnection, Rick and Johanna from TPA and Kurt and his lovely wife from The Coaster Guy.
We'll have a general park update later this week. Thanks for reading.
We'll start off with some nice panoramic views of the new park entrance. This looks really great.
Review of Fury 325 from Lauren:
It was great! For the typical audience that is going to ride this coaster, it's going to be a really great experience. There's a lot of whishy-washy reviews on this, but most of the people at media day are roller coaster fanatics. The roller coaster fanatics are jaded and have traveled all over the wild to ride the tallest, fastest, and wildest coasters. This ride compared to Helix in Sweden? Helix wins 10x over, but this ride wasn't built exclusively for these roller coaster fanatics. This coaster is an awesome addition to Carowinds and is going to bring a lot of excitement to the park. The front seat was my favorite by far, which is very uncommon for me to say about a B&M coaster. The front seat was full of an insane amount of wind, beautiful views, and it's fair share of airtime. The back seat was also a close second to my favorite seat. However there was a shake to the row 3 end seat I rode on towards the end, enough shake to it to give me a slight headache and sit out on a few other rides on it. If your looking for airtime, intimidator does give you a little more. But if your looking for a great thrill, plenty of adrenaline, and a really good ride overall then Fury is it. Don't let the jaded ones fool you, it's definitely a must do and worth the trip to Carowinds!!!
Before the festivities begin, let's take a look at some Fury merchandise
Prior to the ride opening, they were doing some more testing.
The ceremony kicked off with Mike Fennel Carowinds VP and some words from South Carolina Gov, North Carolina Gov, the Mayor of Charlotte
After the ceremony it was time to get some pictures of the ride in action, and of course ride the coaster.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for our Media Day report. We'll likely have some more pics and info in a few days. The coaster and park opens for the 2015 season this Saturday (3/28) so be sure to head out to Carowinds and take in their new amazing coaster.
Thanks to Carowinds for inviting us out to their festivities and a VERY special thank you to Matt and Lauren who were able to cover the event for us. It's very much appreciated.
Yesterday we headed back out to Knott's for the 10th Annual Knott's Coaster Run. I had previously done this event 3 years ago and I have to say this years event was great, some things better, some things not so much (which we'll get into below).
We also have some Iron Reef pics from our visit last Wednesday.
Our Sunday morning started about 2 1/2 hours after our Saturday ended. Due to the time change we were up way too early with too little sleep.
The start line at about 6:00am
After getting our bibs, hanging out a bit, seeing some of you who came out, we started to get in our corrals. And this was the one big issue of the day.
The corrals made no sense.
Usually corrals are sorted by your projected finish time. Now, I'll be honest, I can't remember if I put in a time when we registered, but I don't think we did. It seemed that the corrals were sorted by registration date, which makes NO sense.
Hanging out in Wave 6, behind walkers and people with strollers.
Even the people behind me were confused, or they were confused at how tired I looked. LOL.
Now I'll admit, I'm not the fastest runner, usually around 10:30 per mile on my normal runs, but I admit it and will always put myself in an appropriate corral/wave/whatever. My wife walked the 5k and stated in the back, as it should be.
Corral issues aside though, I will admit, that there was enough gap between waves that it really wasn't as big of an issue as it could have been. But catching up to the previous waves walker 3-4 minutes after the race started was kind of weird.
Headed into the park
And here is the BIGGEST improvement over the last time we did the Coaster Run, actually running through the park. The last time we did it we ran around the park, but never in it. So this was awesome.
Beware of Boomerang supports
Log ride looks awesome in the morning
Running through Ghost Town
Lines for character pictures weren't that long at all
Heading out of the park
Looping around the Marketplace, through the tunnel and into Soak City
Believe it or not, this was actually my first time in Soak City. We'll certainly be checking it out this summer.
The 5k/10k split. If you did the 5k, your course was entirely on Knott's Property (which is awesome). For the 10k the 2nd half of our race was on nearby streets, which was totally fine. Lots of great staff out to cheer you on.
I ended up finishing the 10k in 1:03:46 and a pace of 10:07 per mile. Not my best, not my worst by a long shot. The 2nd half of the race was faster due to not having to dodge strollers and walkers.
And of course, no day at Knott's would be complete without some Boysenberry Pie.
After a tasty breakfast at Mrs. Knott's, a post race selfie, showing off the medal in a theme park. =)
Overall, I'd give this race about a 8 out of 10, it's well organized, the course is great and the minor weirdness regarding the corral placement aside, we had an absolute blast.
I would suggest having people with strollers at the very least start in the back next year. If you are pushing a stroller and can pass me more power to ya. But we'll certainly be back next year.
Moving on to Knott's Iron Reef construction, they are starting to work on the outside of the building now.
And apparently the ride vehicles have shown up at the park as well.
The station is receiving a bulk of the work
Ground work for the building
An overview of the work area, looks like the brick is staying.
Not sure what they are doing on this end yet
A peek inside
Around the rest of the park, is this thing ever open anymore?
Jaguar was closed for a brief refurb, but was back open over the weekend.
Montezooma's Revenge just returned from it's rehab and is running great as always.
Lastly, not sure when these were replaced (probably been awhile) but they look great. I don't normally go into Camp Snoopy, just always find it weird when I'm without kids. =)
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update, we hope you enjoyed it.
We'll be back at the park on the 28th for the Boysenberry Festival. Looking forward to trying out lots of great food.