With the return of summer comes a brand new season of Ghost Town Alive! If it is your first time experiencing Ghost Town Alive, it can be hard to find your footing in a new town. The best way to get started in this fully immersive experience is to jump right in and start meeting the citizens.
The Good, The Bad, and the New
It is the year 1888, and the good citizens of Calico are just recovering from a "Fools Gold Rush." Some citizens have fled for the hills, but many of our favorites remain. The citizens are assigned to different buildings within Calico based on their profession. For example, you will see the same dressmakers in the dress shop all summer long, and the same bankers in the bank.
The Mayfields--If you're familiar with seasons past, you might remember the infamous Mayfield Gang, aka "the Bad Guys." You can tell a Mayfield apart by their cowboy hats, long dark coats, and cowboy boots. I wouldn't let their "bad guy reputation" scare you--we found that most of them are sweethearts!
New Characters- Explorers Potts and Colter have set up a trading post and rafting supply company (you might have even experienced this at the newly reimagined "Calico River Rapids" ride which is located just beyond the schoolhouse. Since Potts and Colter are explorers, they have also brought some unusual new species of animals which have gotten loose in Calico. Stop by Town Hall or the Newspaper office to get a guide to identify these unique animals.
Also new to town are the United States Calvary who wear light blue shirts and dark blue pants. They are visiting Calico to see if the town can qualify as a possible location to construct a fort as an expansion of the Western Territories.
Buildings of Calico
Town Hall--If you are new to town, make Town Hall one of your first stops. Town Hall is the hub of Ghost Town Alive. Here, you'll find the Mayor, the Mayor's wife Miss Pearl, Milton the Deputy Mayor, and Judge Roy Bean. You can get sworn in as a citizen of Calico, feed the mysterious Gimmelbland bird, or even ask for a vow renewal or hitchin’. There is always something stirring in Calico with new happenings revealed by the hour, and Town Hall is the place to see it all unfold!
Assay Office--The first building you will see as you enter the Ghost Town Alive area. Flint is a miner and is assessing the worth of different rocks and minerals. He has some cool pieces of gold to look at, too!
Barber Shop--Contrary to popular belief, there is no hair cutting in the Barber Shop! Dr. Carter bought the Barber Shop to research his science experiments (be sure to ask if you can assist with one!). He's also the town's paranormal expert--he might be able to tell you about some paranormal activity in Ghost Town. Even though they don't cut hair, you can also get a Calico mustache painted on your face (for free!) or a tattoo showing your gang allegiance.
Dress Shop-- Miss Flora and Miss Ashley are the dressmakers of Calico. You can design your own dress or suit by rubbing crayons across vintage pattern presses. Another fun free craft is making your own bows to take home. The dress shop is one of my favorite buildings in Calico because of all the vintage sewing supplies. There is also a spinner or a loomist who performs live demonstrations.
Sheriff's Office--Who knew that the Sheriff was so good at playing cards! Ask him for a card game to a chance to win a Calico wooden coin. There's also a new girl sheriff in town named Skylar! Right outside of the Sheriff's Office is the jail cell--you can ask to take a picture inside, but keep your eye on it throughout the day to see if any other citizens end up in jail.
The Hotel--One of the biggest changes in Calico this year is that former school teacher Miss Lucy is now helping out at the hotel! Head inside the hotel to help with reservations and plan out who is going to stay where.
Saloon--Miss Violet has moved out of her hotel and into the Saloon! Dakota Dan and Cameo Kate have moved their Can Can revue to the Bird Cage for the summer (check daily showtimes). You can still get a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks--try the sasparilla or hand mixed Calico Soda! Miss Violet might even sing a song or two by the piano!
Calico Gazette--Did you know there are four different editions of the newspaper that are printed daily? Audrey is the new reporter who is responsible for writing the latest news. She runs the paper with Bixby and Emery. You can ask her for your official press badge to help get the scoop and a chance to get your name in the paper! Right next door to the Calico Gazette is the town Post Office. You might be asked to pick up packages to deliver to citizens around Calico!
The Bank--Miss Cookie still runs the bank with Coop Walker. Did you know you can open a bank account and see if there are gold nuggets in your account? You can ask to peek inside the vault, but be wary of bank robbers!
The Schoolhouse--new this year are scheduled activities in the schoolhouse! Enjoy music lessons, hoop and stick races, and a daily graduation at 5:00. Miss Nell is one of the newest teachers in town!
Founder's Day Hoedown
The Ghost Town Alive Festivities conclude with a nightly Hoedown in Calico Square (right outside the Saloon) at 5:30. Everyone comes together for line dancing and celebrations. If you've spent some time in Calico, you'll probably have gotten to know many of the citizens and probably have made a few new friends. This is a great way to end the evening, dance together, and say goodbye.
Ghost Town Alive happens select dates from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm through September 2. It is included with regular Knott's Berry Farm Admission. For more of our family adventures at Knotts, follow us on Instagram @littlegraythread