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Food Festivals Scheduled for US Theme Parks
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Food festivals have been one way some amusement parks have been able to open their gates to customers during the pandemic.  In California, dates for Knott’s Boysenberry Festival 2021 are also still to be decided; in 2020 more limited food sampling events took its place. Regardless of scale and date, when the Buena Park, Calif. park reopens, the celebration of the theme park’s berry-growing heritage will take place with tastes of everything from Boysenberry Gumbo to tamales and tarts.

Scheduled to take place this spring is Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival 2021 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The five-week event allows guests to taste recipes inspired by the Smoky Mountain region in which the park is located. It also marks the celebration of Dollywood’s 35th anniversary. As the event’s name indicates, it’s not just food such as a fresh violet slushy that’s on the menu here: a half million plants and flowers will also be on display at the park.

At Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio., the Cedar Point Frontier Festival 2021 does not yet have a scheduled slot, but the food-filled festivities will include dining options themed to the park’s Frontier Town, where the event will take place. Scheduled treats include smoked brisket and baked beans plus bluegrass music.

While food-related activities have provided a reliable way for theme parks to add a little seasonal extra to park admission, it has also served as a way for parks unable to operate conventionally in 2020 to generate some revenue and connect with fans during the pandemic. This year the situation appears on track to allow at least limited reopening in more states, and for food-driven festivals to add more fun to a theme park mix that still must emphasize social distancing and limit attendance.

Along with festival food experiences, dishes themed to the locations in which it is served are pegged to continue providing another layer to parkgoers experiences, with themed food already doing well in Star Wars attractions at Disney parks, and other planned for locations such as the Avengers Campus in California Adventure, the Marvel superhero land originally scheduled to open in July 2020.
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