Can you believe it’s Labor Day next Monday, 9/1/14, and the “unofficial end of summer?” With this warm, sunny weather we’re enjoying this week, if you’re like me and my family, our thoughts still turn to that quintessential summer treat—ice cream! I honestly believe Solvang has more ice cream shops and restaurants per capita serving this cool delight than most any other town our size. Fortunately, with so many places to indulge here, I recommend strolling around and doing some taste testing, then let us know your favorites—are you more traditional vanilla, chocolate or strawberry or a cookies & cream, pistachio or mint chip fan? And let’s not forget frozen yogurts and gelato, too! It’s all here! Yummy “almost-end-of-summer” delights can be found at Solvang Trolley Ice Cream Parlor, Old Danish Food Farm, Kate’s Yogurt, Ingeborg’s Chocolates & Ice Cream Parlor and Café Dolce just to name a few. For delicious details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/dining/
Are you ready to see some of the finest vehicles with vroom in California? We’re gearing up (pun intended) for the 10th anniversary Wheels N’ Windmills Car Show this Saturday (8/23/14) from 10am to 4pm. It’s free for you and yours to come admire a mix of 300 classics, hot rods, muscle cars and motorcycles plus vendor booths, live entertainment and giveaways downtown along Copenhagen Drive. Take a stroll, chat up the owners (and of course, shop & eat & wine & beer taste, too!) Registration fees are supporting three super charities this year—Solvang Friendship House, Central Coast Type One Diabetes Foundation and The Progeria Research Foundation. And you can donate online as well at http://www.wheelsnwindmills.com/ It’s an amazing display of motor-driven chrome, glass, vinyl and metal. It always gets this Detroit-born gal’s heart pumping! For more detailing, www.solvangusa.com/includes/events/index.cfm?action=displayDetail&eventid=7186
Have you ever wanted to help preserve a place of history (and the opportunity to win a prize, too?) Here’s how . . . participate in the Old Mission Santa Ines Restoration Raffle—happening now until 8/17/14. Located at 1760 Mission Drive in the heart of Solvang, Old Mission Santa Inés, is the 19th mission in the famous chain of 21 California missions stretching from San Diego north to San Francisco. It was founded in 1804 (pre-dating Solvang by more than a century). It serves the community as an active parish, providing services and offering events in the buildings and gardens plus a museum featuring a rich collection of paintings, statuary, vestments, manuscripts, and artifacts of the area’s native Chumash, Spanish and Mexican heritage. As you might imagine, keeping everything maintained is a constant and costly endeavor. Instead of hosting a Fiesta-style event in August (as in previous years) to raise needed funds, you can purchase Restoration Raffle tickets for only $2 each or a booklet of a dozen for $20 at Old Mission Santa Inés Gift Shop from 9:00am-4:30pm daily. You do not need to be present to win the Grand Prize of $5,000, 2nd prize of $1,000 or 3rd prize of $500. Be sure to take a self-guided tour or stroll through the gardens while you’re visiting this historic treasure! http://www.solvangusa.com/listings/index.cfm?action=display&listingID=413&menuID=207&hit=1
You’ve all heard folks say, so what’s there to do around here? The answer is simple when you visit Solvang’s Calendar of Events online at http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/calendar-of-events/ And because it’s August and the traditional peak month of summer vacation season means there is plenty going on for kids of all ages to experience. For example, this week (August 4-10) you can still see the awesome performance of Oklahoma! at PCPA Theaterfest. Plan to stroll and taste and purchase yummy fruits, veggies and flora at the Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoon from 2:30-6 pm (don’t miss the fresh peaches, oh my!). On Friday evening, see a free movie outdoors in Solvang Park (the mega-hit Frozen) at 7:30pm. On Saturday afternoon, do the Lucas & Lewellen annual Dirty Boots Vineyard Tour. On Saturday evening, check out live entertainment in several of downtown Solvang wine tasting rooms. Then cap off the weekend with Sunday Jazz in the Garden at the Solvang Festival Theater featuring the Brazilian-American styling of Téka and NewBossa pictured at right (gates open at 2:30 pm, concert begins at 3:00 pm with tickets at the door available.) See, you can banish boredom right here in Solvang!