Lots of Yummy Fun at Knott’s Peanuts Weekend

Photos by Charly SHELTON
A fan favorite is the Dilly Dilly Dog. It’s a standard-issue hot dog, shoved inside a whole dill pickle.


From 1950 to 2000, the Peanuts comic strip ran serialized in newspapers across the world. It spawned more than a dozen movies, TV shows and, most memorably, holiday specials that are still played annually. The Peanuts characters are featured in Cedar Fair parks across the country with kiddie lands, character meet-and-greets, rides and stage shows. And at Knott’s Berry Farm, the Peanuts characters have an entire festival dedicated to them.

Peanuts Celebration Weekends are on now through March 1, and feature the very best of the Peanuts gang. From stage shows celebrating the happiness friends bring to rare character sightings like Snoopy’s brother, Spike, to a ride on the Grand Sierra Railroad heading to the Beagle Bonanza to welcome Snoopy’s relations, there’s plenty to do and see.

“Happiness Is …” is a musical revue to find the happiness that friends can bring and is one of the main events at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Peanuts Celebration Weekends, on now through March 1

But with a theme park begot by food, the highlight of all of Knott’s festivals is always the food. That’s not to say the new “Happiness Is …” stage show isn’t great, but it’s really hard for any form of entertainment to compete with deep fried PB&J, pulled pork, baked mac and cheese, and the Junkyard Dog – a foot-long hot dog topped with chili, onion, cheese and French fries.

Personally, I was most excited to try the Dilly Dilly Dog. It’s a standard-issue hot dog, shoved inside a whole dill pickle – not the deli-size pickle but the giant one found in wooden barrels at theme parks and county fairs – then breaded in corn batter and deep fried. It’s irresponsibly large, and it becomes the only thing in the whole world that you want the moment you see it. While it is so large that it bends the stick it’s served on, a spare stick is available upon request. This is a two-stick dog.

For those of you grimacing at your paper right now, let me say it is better than you think. And for those drooling on their Leisure section, let me say it’s not as good as you think. It is really unique, but it’s not much more than the sum of its parts. Nobody outside of a python could fit this in their mouth to get breading, pickle and dog in one bite. So it becomes a rotating act of pickle, dog, breading, dog, breading, pickle, pickle, bread, pickle and so on. The flavors can’t mix, and it’s just a goopy mess by the time you admit defeat. That being said, it is still all the fun of having a barrel pickle and a corn dog in the Old West town of Calico, which is a good time to be sure.

While I didn’t get a chance to try it all, the best food I had at the celebration, surprisingly, was the PB&J roll. It’s a rolled cake like a yule log, but with peanut butter cake and jelly wrapped inside. I am not usually a fan of peanut butter flavored things and, at the Peanuts celebration, everything is Peanuts. But this cake was just delicate enough to get by for me and peanuty enough to satisfy a Peanut fan.

There are tons of new, limited time foods and rides to try at the Peanuts Celebration Weekends, going on now each weekend through March 1 with additional dates on Feb. 10, 14 and 17. For more information, visit Knotts.com.