Make plans to see the amazing Scarecrowfest displays now through November 7 throughout Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley! There’s over 100 creative ‘crows’ in Solvang alone—and you can vote on your favorites as part of the contest. Scarecrowfest ballots are available at the Solvang Visitors Center (1639 Copenhagen Drive) and feature maps to direct you around town. Place your votes in ballot boxes scattered about the village in six different categories this year: “Best Scarecrow Photo Op,” “Best Use of Recycled Materials,” “Best Use of Business Theme,” “Most Danish,” “Spookiest and “Most Humorous”. Winners will be announced in mid-November.
Meanwhile, remember that 10/19/16 is Solvang Third Wednesday with plenty of deals at local merchants including boutiques of all sorts, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors; free admission to the Wildling Museum; the weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market; and the best way to add some cheer, the popular Solvang Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk. Plus, experience Third Wednesday deals at some of Solvang’s best hotels, like 20% off of their night’s stay (with a qualifying stay). For more details on all the happenings, visit http://solvangthirdwednesday.com/events/
Hard to believe that Solvang’s Julefest (Christmas Fest) starts in six weeks! (Say Yule-fest and you’ll sound like a native). Why think about this now? Get in the holiday spirit (so to speak), by marking your calendar and getting tickets for the Solvang Julefest Holiday Wine & Beer Walk. It’s cheer-fully happening this year on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. You can stroll about downtown and sip local vintages at more than a dozen wine and beer tasting rooms offering samplings of adult liquid refreshments! Tickets are only $45 per person for the 2-day passport including a souvenir etched wine glass (you must be 21 years+ naturally). Purchase yours online now!
Time Magazine named Solvang one of the the “Christmas-y towns in America”–see why! For more info on all the other events happening during Solvang Julefest in December including the Community Tree-lighting Ceremony, Julefest Parade and Nativity Pageant, free visits with Santa in Solvang Park plus Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail shopping therapy–visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/
Be among the first to see Places of the Heart, an art exhibition and sale of 77 images by the multi-talented artists of SCAPE (Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment) at the Wildling Museum “where art and nature meet.” This year’s fall fundraiser for the museum puts the “art” in pARTy on opening night, this Friday, October 7, 2016. Sample the fine wines of Santa Barbara County, explore artful food stations by SBB Gourmet Catering throughout the museum, savor sweet treats in the dessert gallery, while enjoying live music and artist demonstrations. Raffles and wine auctions will add to the fun. Ticket price is only $25 per person in advance or at the door. The selected works showcase the amazing natural features of our region and will be on view through October 23, 2016. (Pictured above is artist Kevin Gleason’s Fennell Blooms at Ellwood).
Located at 1511-B Mission Drive near the corner of Fifth Street—the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature has so much for you to discover year-round in this soaring three-story space. Did you know the museum is available for private party rentals and meetings; plus there’s some really original art and jewelry in the gift shop, too? For more details visit http://www.wildlingmuseum.org
Are you ready to celebrate the autumn vineyard harvest? The grapes and their winemakers are really ready! Mark your calendar for October 7-10, 2016, the annual Celebration of Harvest Weekend sponsored by the non-profit Santa Barbara Vintners organization. There are so many exciting events and activities, you’ll definitely want to come stay, sip and swirl in Solvang for awhile! The Festival Grand Tasting will be Saturday, 10/8/16 from 1-4pm at the historic Old Mission Santa Ines right in downtown Solvang featuring more than 100 vintners plus food tastings, live music, silent auction and more.
On Saturday morning before the Grand Tasting, check out the “Women in Santa Barbara County Wine” seminar from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Hotel Corque featuring six winemakers on a panel moderated by Gabe Saglie, noted food, wine & travel journalist. Also at Hotel Corque on Friday, 10/7/16; there is a Harvest Dinner kick-off event featuring older vintage wines brought by guests and winery representatives. You can also get a Vintners Visa (a tasting pass to twelve area tasting rooms over the four-day weekend) plus savor various tasting room open houses and vineyard walks all around the area. For complete details and to get your tickets, visit http://www.celebrationofharvest.com/
Autumn officially arrives on Thursday, 9/22/16, yet our weather has been rather summer-like and still traditionally temperate—cool mornings and evenings and warm, sunny skies during the day. I’ve been known to tell friends it’s time to dress like an onion—peel off layers during the day and put them back on in the evening! Some say spring is the time for closet cleaning, however now is a great time to update your wardrobe and make room for the latest “fall” fashions! (Guys, this applies to you, too, enough of the old t-shirts!) With more than 150 independent boutiques to choose from—from Incredibly chic yet affordable women’s, men’s and kids clothing, fine leather goods and accessories, shoes, boots and clogs will keep you strolling around town looking for items you hadn’t even known you need! Get some retail therapy at totally one-of-a-kind clothing shops—just to mention a few such as Atterdag Kids, Elna’s Dress Shop, First Street Leather, Parts Unknown, Solvang Shoe Store, Treats Clothing Boutique, True Addiction Women’s Apparel or The Sock Loft. Check out all your fashionable opportunities at http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/shopping/
Ja, it’s that magical time of year here in Solvang—the charitable Solvang Danish Days Foundation is coordinating the 80th Annual Solvang Danish Days from Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18, 2016. This amazing activity-filled weekend honors the founding of Solvang by Danish-Americans in 1911. (Hard to believe that was 105 years ago!) This year’s theme is “Think of Something Danish” which won’t be difficult with all the food, dancing, free music, entertainment and chances to be “VIP Danes for the Weekend.”
Meet 2016 Danish Maid Natalya Nielsen (her family members were some of the original settlers). You can enjoy three parades (Friday night Torchlight; Saturday afternoon Main Parade featuring 2016 Grand Marshals Mike and Martha Nedegaard and Sunday’s Children’s Parade); two aebleskiver breakfasts followed by an aebleskiver eating contest (how many can you eat in 5 minutes?)
In Solvang Park check out the Kids’ Korner featuring a huge LEGOS ® make-your-own craft tent. You can experience “living history” at the Elverhoj Museum. Don’t miss any of these festivities! Get all the details and make your hotel reservations now by visiting www.solvangusa.com/events/danish-days/
You don’t want to miss this superb performance of In the Heights by an outstanding PCPA cast at Solvang Festival Theater, 420 Second Street, in downtown Solvang. In the Heights won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008 and there is no doubt why. The music and lyrics are by Lin Manuel-Miranda, the creator of the current Broadway hit Hamilton. The setting is New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood—a place on the precipice of change, hopes and dreams. This show is about discovering yourself and finding your true home–against any odds. I attended the opening night show and want to tell you that this musical is honest, raw, contemporary and yet has timeless themes. It’s especially poignant while you can watch the stars onstage AND in the sky! This is the final show of the 2016 PCPA summer season in Solvang. For details and tickets, visit http://www.pcpa.org/IntheHeights.html