Is there ever something you keep meaning to blog about, but you just keep never getting around to it until it’s almost too late? That has been happening to me all summer with Knott’s Berry Farm‘s Ghost Town 75th anniversary celebration. Yes, 75 years ago, Walter Knott created his Ghost Town, using a combination of actual old west buildings, and ones he and his team built from the ground up. And I’ve gone a handful of times over summer, but just never got around to taking all of the photos I wanted to to share their unique celebration with you! Which there are loads of photos of! Yes, this is quite the picture heavy post!
When Ghost Town opened to the public in 1941, it was designed as a way to entertain guests awaiting their table at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner, where they sometimes had to wait up to three or four hours, but it soon blossomed into what is considered America’s first theme park. Knott and his team of talented artists breathed life into the buildings by furnishing them not just with antiques of the period, but with amazing hand carved wood mannequins, and guests could peek into the buildings and see a full scene going on. Hence they were named “peek ins”. But when the 75th anniversary came, Knott’s Berry Farm decided to truly bring Ghost Town to life with real life citizens, such as the mayor, school teacher, doctor, newspaper man, and even a gang, along with many more wonderful and colorful citizens, and allow guests to finally enter the peek ins! Also, each citizen has stories that play out over the course of the day. They use the guests to help these stories blossom, including asking them to deliver letters, packages, join a posse, and even vote for the next mayor, all ending in a rousing hoedown at the evening!
I can honestly say that Ghost Town Alive is one of the best moves Knott’s Berry Farm has made. The whole experience is so enjoyable you never want it to end! During our visit we talked a great deal with Bixby, the editor of the Calico Gazette, who inquired as to how my friends and I were voting in the upcoming mayoral election, and after we gave him our opinions, he said he would get us the latest edition of the paper, and disappeared for a moment. He returned with literal “hot off the press” editions, complete with our names, and quotes in the paper! Even the gang members are friendly, and made us honorary members. The whole day was nothing short of wonderful and extremely entertaining.
Another thing Knott’s did for the 75th is they relocated Panning for Gold to its original location. So now it is close to Ghostrider. I of course had to pan for gold, real gold, since I was wearing my gold mining skirt!
As the evening dwindled down, we stepped inside the Bird Cage Theater to enjoy Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies before leaving for the night.
Sadly, Ghost Town Alive ends September 5th, and I will be beyond sorry to see it go. So, who knows, you may see some more of this wonderful happening a bit more before then! I do hope though that Knott’s brings Ghost Town back to life in this way, even if perhaps just during the summer months each year.
Ghost Town T-Shirt: Knott’s Berry Farm
Gold Mining Print Skirt: Cheshire Vintage
Pressed Leather Shoes: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California
Tooled Leather Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Vintage Knott’s Berry Farm Charm Bracelet: An antique mall…I don’t remember which.