Ghost Town Alive!

The Mayor of Calico defends his title in front of Town Hall at Knott's Berry Farm.

Welcome to Calico! Actually, its "Ghost Town Alive!" at Knott's Berry Farm, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Walter Knott's Ghost Town. "Ghost Town Alive!" fully immerses guests into the Old West, where they become part of an all day show. The premise: guests enter the town of Calico on the day of the 75th Anniversary Hoedown. All is peaceful... the barber is offering his services inside his shop (stop by and get a mustache), the Assay Office is buzzing with activity, the Sheriff is playing cards and talking to townsfolk, the newspaper staff is out and about, Mayor Parnell and his wife and preparing for a re-election ceremony at 4:00 pm, and the rest of the folks are going about their business.

All of this changes around 11:00, when Clay Mayfield waltzes into town causing trouble and proclaims to the Sheriff and Mayor that he has a deed to Calico. The Sheriff tells him the deed is fake, as citizens fill the streets in shock. Irritated, Mayfield and his gang go on to cause trouble throughout the day. The gang robs the Assay Office, Train Depot and tries to loot the Bank. This plays out as mini shows around Ghost Town. Guests are invited to help stop them at 2:30 with a posse. If you see anything suspicious, report it to the Sheriff or his deputy. Have news? Tell the reporters at the telegraph office. The cast members have done an amazing job to engage guests. Opening day, the "show" went off without a hitch and guests were drawn into the story. The 4:00 election gets derailed a bit (all part of the story), and much to everyone's surprise park guests showed up in droves to participate. In fact, over opening weekend, nearly 400 people lined up to vote in each day's election. This is what management hoped would happen of course, but even they were surprised by guest reaction. Standing in line to vote, a mother told me that her child had not been on one ride all day. He has been so excited being involved with what was going on, he had no desire to leave Ghost Town. This is a testament to the creative minds behind the concept and the staff sweating it out in heavy period costumes on the warm summer midways. The historic peek-ins on Main Street have been opened up, and for the first time ever guests can enter Goldie's Place and the Sheriff's Office (just to name a few). Most every building in Ghost Town is being used, and you could spend a good part of the day enjoying the action. In addition to "Ghost Town Alive," there is an all new Calico Saloon Show and a brand new show in the Wagon Camp, which replaces the long-running Stunt Show. Other changes include animals being added to the Livery Stable at the end of Main Street. Wander in an see horses and more. The old Calico Square stage has been removed and a massive new stage has been built in the former location of the Screamin' Swing. Ghostrider, the tallest, fastest, longest wooden roller coaster on the West Coast has received a new track and new trains, providing a significantly smoother ride. A variety of other entertainment and event also take place. "Ghost Town Alive!" runs from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm daily though the end of the summer. While the schedule may change, a breakdown of the day's events are roughly as follows: 10:00 - Mingle with the citizens of Calico 11:00 - The Mayfields present a fake deed to the town (in front of the Ghost Town Grill) 12:00 - The Mayfileds start to rob Calico businesses, including the Train Depot 2:30 - Join the Sheriff's posse to catch the Mayfields and march through Ghost Town (group forms at the Sheriff's Office and moves to the front of the Calico Saloon) 4:00 - Vote in the Mayoral election in front of Town Hall 4:30 - Mayoral race winner announced 5:30 - Hoedown with all the citizens of Calico (in front of the Bird Cage Theatre) - Throughout the day find various shows and characters throughout Ghost Town - Find 75th Anniversary Merchandise in the Gold Trails Hotel - See the new show in The Wagon Camp - See the new show in the Calico Saloon - Purchase a special Elixir as demonstrated on the Medicine Show Stage - Become a citizen at Town Hall - Become a deputy (see the Sheriff... he chooses who he wants as a deputy) - Get a mustache from the barber - Wash laundry in front of Hop Wing Lee's - Vote in the election - Submit a claim to the Assay Office (ask a citizen about this) - Pick up one of two daily editions of the Calico newspaper - Submit news and gossip to the newspaper reporters - Take a photo inside of Goldie's Place - See the horses in the Livery Stable - Ride the Butterfield Stagecoach - Ride the Ghost Town & Calico Railraod around the park - Pan for gold in the brand new location in the Ghostrider queue - Ride Ghostrider - Visit the schoolhouse for a lesson - Visit the Pony Express Outpost to see creepy crawlies - Ride the historic and recently renovated Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride





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