This past weekend the online community was invited out to Knott's Berry Farm to check out this years version of "Berry Bloom". The event has expanded in it's second year and features a great mix of entertainment, food and even a great wine tasting event in the Wilderness Dance hall.
We arrived in the early afternoon and checked in at the front of the park. The park provided us with coupons to check out some of the food options and the wine tasting event.
The decorations added for the event are great.
There was so much to see we actually missed some even though we were at the park for over 9 hours. We'll be sure to report on the rest when we get back to the park soon.
Over in the Boardwalk area the park has placed some oversized flowers and some fun games for kids to play.
Is it just me or does this look like a Schwarzkopf coaster?
Sally playing some "Big Boardwalk Games" seemed to be a very popular thing.
Charleston Fountain has also been converted into a stage for the "Bloomination Dance Party" that begins after sunset.
Most of the Berry Bloom activities take place in Ghost Town and you can spend hours eating your way through the area.
The park has also recreated the original Berry Stand where you can buy and take home your own Boysenberry plant.
Let's take a look at some of the food options that are available for Berry Bloom. This isn't all the food the park has to offer and we'll be sure to try the rest when we are back at the event. You can only eat so much in one day. =)
We'll start off in the Calico Saloon
The absolute best value is the "Boysenberry Festival Tasting Card" which allows you to try 6 of the special treats for only $20.
Events like these give you a chance to try some food you wouldn't normally try and I'm happy to announce that all of the treats at Knott's were a hit!!!
Below some Chocolate covered Boysenberry Glazed bacon and a Chocolate Covered Jalapeño stuffed with Boysenberry Cream Cheese. Both were excellent and the Jalapeño was an unexpected treat.
Next we tried the "Deep Fried Boysenberry Ice Cream" balls. We were thinking they were going to be the size of a golf ball.
As you can see they were the size of a softball and were absolutely delicious.
Flank Steak with Boysenberry Sauce
This was our first opportunity to taste the specially made Boysenberry Glaze that is on many of the food options at the event. I've had a lot of good BBQ sauces, I've tried to make homemade BBQ sauce, but this sauce is honestly one of the best I've ever tried.
Everything we tried with "The Sauce" was absolutely amazing. I'm generally not a fan of things smothered in sauce but I didn't mind at all.
The employees working the food booths not only did a great job preparing the food but also were very outgoing and actually knew a lot of the history of the Boysenberry. They added a lot to the experience.
Wings smothered in "The Sauce". This was probably my son's favorite thing of the day.
Corn on the Cob with Boysenberry Butter. It really brought out the sweetness in the corn.
Waffle on a Stick. This was VERY good but turned out to be the longest line of the day (almost 40 minutes). The process they were using to make them "fresh" was appreciated, but when you have a line of 15 people, making 1 waffle instead of 4 at a time (which they can do) isn't worth it.
Being the first day of the event we're willing to give them a pass here but hopefully they'll come up with a better process for these.
One of the things we were most interested to try was the Deep Fried Alligator Bites with Boysenberry Aioli from the Calico Fry Co.
It was actually VERY good and tasted a lot like Fried Calamari. My son actually wanted more.
This was one of the very few things at the event that you could walk around or wait in line while eating it. We had ours while in line for Ghostrider.
The last thing on our list was the Turkey Leg with "The Sauce". You could either get the sauce on the side or over the top of the Turkey Leg.
After all that food what's one to do except head over for some wine tasting.
The set-up inside is great and has about 9 different wineries each with about 4 or 5 different types of wines.
This is one of those things were you need multiple visits to try everything. The price for the tasting also includes an appetizer plate that includes crackers, cheeses, olives, strawberries, pecans and of course boysenberries.
After you purchase your card you are allowed 6 tastings and you get to pick which ones you'd like to try.
For those that don't drink wine there is also a beer booth outside that is included as well. You can also bring your kids in as they have lemonade, soda's and berry punch.
As the sun starts to set the event is still going strong as some of the entertainment kicks into gear including Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.
I can't think of another park that looks so great at sunset.
Coast Rider at Sunset
Even Boomerang looks good at sunset. =)
Still the best log ride anywhere
After the sun goes down the Bloomination dance party kicks into gear
The Boardwalk area looks great at night
Thank you to Knott's for inviting us out to Berry Bloom, we had a great time and we will definitely be back soon. For more information on Berry Bloom check out www.knotts.com
Berry Bloom runs until April 27.
We'll have a general update from Knott's later this week. Stay tuned!!