Knott's Berry Farm will continue its partial operations after Halloween with the debut of Knott's Taste of Merry Farm, running select dates from November 20 through January 3.
Large theme parks, such as Knott's, are not allowed to reopen in the state of California until their home county reaches the state's "minimal" exposure tier for Covid-19. Knott's Orange County is currently in the "substantial" tier — two levels away from "minimal" — so it might be a while before rides can reopen there.
But the state is allowing dining and retail businesses to reopen, so Knott's has been staging a variety of outdoor food and merchandise festivals to resume partial operations during the shut-down. For Taste of Merry Farm, Knott's will be serving plenty of holiday-inspired sweet and savory dishes. Date-specific tasting cards will be required for entry and cost $40 for five tastes, with kids' cards available for $20 for three tastes. Knott's passholders save 10 percent on tasting card puchases.
The menu of more than 60 items for the event will include Scrooge's Spicy Cranberry-Pomegranate Glazed Wings, Beef Empanadas, Turkey Dinner Tater Tots, and "Turkey Balls," with turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberries. Sweets will include Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bars, Comet's Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry Funnel Cake, and Concha stuffed with ice cream.
More than 20 local crafters also will be producing personalized gifts and handcrafted merchandise at the event.
Schedule dates for the event will be November 20-29, December 4-6, December 11-13, December 18-24, December 26-30, and January 1-3. Tasting cards are available on the Knott's website.
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I'd wager "Knott's Taste of Peanuts Celebration," followed by "Knott's Taste of Boysenberry Festival."
Not Knotts taste of Knotts entanglement?
I attended the current Taste of Fall-o-Ween event with family members on a Sunday about a week ago. The decorations, light entertainment, and food selection were excellent. Against Knott's guidelines, especially as the park got more crowded in the late afternoon and evening, there were *lots* of people walking around eating and drinking and/or not wearing face coverings in Ghost Town and Boardwalk. There were employees picking up trash and cleaning tables, but no one enforcing these safety guidelines. I've read on social media that this was commonplace on other days of the event.
We also heard that social distancing was problematic in the evening in places like Boot Hill Cemetery with the effects show, so we did not stay past 6 pm.
I think Knott's can definitely do more to keep people safe and give people the sense of feeling safe while attending these events.
I applaud Knott's for making things work under California's oppressive restrictions, but a combination of the rising cost with each iteration of this event and lack of interest in visiting the park under these conditions definitely rule me out. I also feel it should be said...I've visited a number of major theme parks this year despite the pandemic, and Taste of Knott's was probably the least safe I felt at one. It's less due to procedures (which were fine), and more due to the event necessitating clusters of unmasked guests in relatively close proximity for extended periods of time as well as the difficulty of distancing at a sold out event where everyone is confined to the pathways. I'd really love for California to send a team to this event and then justify how it is 100% okay while normal theme park operation is not.
The less that parks do to enforce mask mandates, the more entrenched California state officials will become in not budging from the Yellow tier requirement. Why can't parks understand this?
I agree with Robert. With numbers starting to rise (I live in South Florida), Knotts’ employees need to help with enforcement. Be the ones to set the example. Sometimes appearance can rule the day over reality.
On a personal note, I’ve been a reader of this site before joining. I’ve enjoyed Robert’s articles and the insights from
members. We all love theme parks or frankly we wouldn’t be here. We are all in this together. Stay safe everyone.
I can't say that I really blame the lower level Knott's employees who were cleaning tables and taking away trash. What employee wants to get into a confrontation with entitled customers by telling them they and their kids need to find some place to sit down where they can take their masks off to eat and drink?
By the time I found a Knott's manager on the far side of Boardwalk, I had walked through most of Ghost Town and Boardwalk and passed maybe 50-100 people not properly wearing facial coverings and many eating and walking, and I let the manager know that, and also that I did not feel safe as they were not enforcing their facial covering guidelines. He claimed that there were park ambassadors roaming the park asking people to put on their masks, but I did not see any as I walked through half the park.
A park needs enough higher-level employees to deal nicely but firmly with people not following safety guidelines so that everyone is and feels safe inside the park, even if the customers feel inconvenienced by doing so.
I have been to the Taste of Knott's events three times, and each felt safe, but heck I went to two of the events earlier in the day where less were drinking, and a couple of hours after opening. I saw no people walking around without masks . I did see a few people sliding off masks quickly to walk and eat/ drink, and a few that had masks not properly covering their nose/ mouths. This said, I always felt socially distanced from others, everything was always constantly being cleaned, and honestly walking into grocery stores that are indoors I see much more mask issues and social-distancing issues. Where it felt least socially distanced at Knotts was the marketplace area. In short,m I do plan to go again to support Knotts, its employees, and to try to do something safe and fun in the midst of few options available in Southern California.
I have not been to an operational amusement park yet, but I imagine those will feel even safer as they won't be "food events" that include alcoholic beverages for adults. The real issue remains can amusement parks operate safely (YES!), what we are doing to our economy, and how many more of our freedoms will we see trampled all in the name of fears, politics, and not variafiable facts. Yes Covid-19 is real, can kill, but we need to figure out how to function outside of our homes, get kids back into schools, and keep our most vulnerable safe. You would think with these shutdowns people were simply falling over and dying in the streets.... *sigh*
Pamela -- I also attended both the Taste of Calico event and Taste of Knott's, but the situation was far worse at Taste of Fall-o-Ween.
I don't know if it's COVID pandemic weariness in that people are just tired of following stringent guidelines, but especially in the evening, there were *lots* of people walking around eating food and drinking or just walking around with no facial coverings.
I don't think people realize that although the pandemic has been going on for over six months now, the coronavirus is just as infectious and just as deadly as it was in the spring or summer. People have to protect themselves and other people, especially as the winter comes and they spend more times indoors.
I am especially concerned as the Taste of Merry Farm event has already sold out a couple of Saturdays and people in social media Knott's groups talk about buying four or five different event tickets. There is a lot of pent-up demand for events like this.
My experiences (mostly on Fridays) have been pretty solid in terms of safety. Most people I've seen were wearing masks, but there were some exceptions, but I was always able to maintain a decent distance from them.
It can get a bit busier in the evening, but then it gets lighter again as the evening goes on, basically a dinner rush. I've always found that even if it's busier, there's always places to go that are less crowded/distanced, especially by the water with the California missions (since there's no food/drinks directly in that area, but lots and lots of tables).
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Any ideas of what the next festival will be called? I'm sure there will be a decently good pun they'll come up with.