Looking Back Sideways

Solvang, CaliforniaYou’ll likely recall that the Oscar-winning movie Sideways was filmed here in Solvang and the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley in autumn 2003 and premiered in 2004. This weekend, mark your calendar for two great 10th anniversary celebrations of the wine-soaked romantic comedy movie that changed everything and nothing around these parts!  This Saturday, October 4, 2014, from 4:00-6:00 p.m., Solvang’s Elverhøj Museum of History & Art will host a free opening reception for “Looking Back Sideways,” a photography exhibition featuring iconic images and a look behind-the-scenes captured by Merie Weismiller Wallace, member of the Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers (SMPSP). Her photographs on display include many area residents who found themselves in front of the camera alongside stars Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh.Looking Back Sideways” will remain on exhibit through 11/2/14. Details and directions at http://www.elverhoj.org/exhibits.html

Sideways had its US premiere at the magnificent Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara in September 2004. On Sunday, October 5, 2014, celebrate the 10th anniversary with a special FREE screening at the Arlington Theater at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are going fast, to obtain yours visit www.sideways10.com. Cheers!

Artist Eric Dowdle Debuts “Solvang, Danish Village”

Eric Dowdle Solvang Danish Village 2014Did you enjoy the 78th annual Danish Days celebration last weekend? Hope you got your fill of aebleskiver, parades and plenty of fun in the sun! Did you experience the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night featuring a special guest–folk artist Eric Dowdle? He said “Solvang has long been one of my favorite towns since I fell in love with my wife here in 2002. It was an easy decision to make this our first place to film our first-ever TV series.” And, not only did Eric premiere his new 30-minute PBS-TV show “Painting the Town: Solvang,” he also debuted his new, original painting “Solvang, Danish Village”—see image adjacent. Absolutely amazing! Eric said it took him four months to complete it after he spent a week here last October while filming his show. You can purchase his prints and puzzles at stores in Solvang and online. Mange Tak (Many Thanks in Danish) to Eric and the entire Dowdle Folk Art team! We look forward to seeing you soon here soon in Solvang!


78th Annual Danish Days Are Here!

Solvang, CaliforniaGot an appetite for aebleskiver? Ready to meet some Vikings? Want to hear Danish music and do street dancing?

Solvang, CaliforniaAND see original artwork and the premiere of a new TV show featuring Solvang? It’s all happening this weekend during the FREE 78th annual Danish Days from Friday, 9/19/14 through Sunday, 9/21/14. Sponsored by the charitable Solvang Danish Days Foundation, this activity-filled weekend honors the founding of Solvang by Danish-Americans in 1911.

You can enjoy three parades (Friday night Torchlight; Saturday afternoon Main Parade and Sunday afternoon Children’s Parade.) Experience “living history” at the Elverhoj Museum.

13- Danish Days 2008-AebleskiverMakerThere’s delicious aebleskiver breakfasts followed by an aebleskiver eating contests on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Danish-style Beer & Wine Garden serves Carlsberg, local brews and wines on Friday night and Saturday. The Ravens of Odin, a professional Viking re-enactment group creates an authentic camp in Solvang Park adjacent to the Kids’ Korner featuring a huge LEGOS ® make-your-own craft tent plus free concerts including Manne (Danish duo straight from Denmark).

At the opening ceremonies, meet 2014 Danish Days Maid Angelique Heron. Then, see world famous folk artist Eric Dowdle, host of Public Television’s “Painting the Town with Eric Dowdle,” who’ll present the premiere of his new 30-minute TV show “Painting the Town: Solvang” and unveil his new, original painting, “Solvang, Danish Village.” Come be a Dane for the weekend! Don’t miss any of these festivities! You can view complete schedule at www.solvangdanishdays.orgDanish Days Logo

Sideways in Solvang Merlot Taste-Off Chefs Revealed for 9/13/14 Charity Event


This Saturday, 9/13/14 is the Sideways in Solvang Merlot Taste-Off event from 3-6pm at Solvang Festival Theater gardens. It’s the 10th anniversary of the movie Sideways (shot on location here in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley) AND the 40th anniversary of the Solvang Festival Theater, our wondrous 700-seat outdoor venue for concerts, drama, comedy and the fast approaching Halloween Haunted House. All proceeds benefit the Theater, so imbibe with altruistic intention!

So here’s the latest—there will be some delicious food from three Solvang area chefs to accompany the merlot wines! Savor east/west fusion from Chef Budi Kazali of The Ballard Inn & Restaurant; amazing appetizers from Chef Pink (Crystal DeLongpre) of Bacon & Brine and gourmet wood-fired pizzas made on-site from Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante.

Merlot wine glassesRemember the character Miles in the 2004 Oscar-winning movie Sideways who infamously declared, “I am NOT drinking any (expletive) Merlot!”  Decide for yourself by tasting Merlots being poured by Baehner Fournier, Blackjack, Brander, Buttonwood, Carivintas, Core, Dascomb, Happy Canyon Vineyard, J. Ludlow, Lions Peak, Lucas & Lewellen, Point Concepcion, Sagebrush Annies, Sevtap and Sunstone.

This is an anniversary charity party you don’t want to miss! Tickets are only $75 per person (age 21 and over natch) and going faster than you can say Merlot so get yours now at http://www.solvangusa.com/sideways/

Sideways in Solvang: Merlot Taste-Off is Saturday, 9/13/14

Merlot-iconSo, do you like Merlot wine? Or are you more like the character Miles in the 2004 Oscar-winning movie Sideways who infamously declared, “I am NOT drinking any (expletive) Merlot!”

It’s actually been 10 years since Sideways was filmed on location here in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley—featuring stars Paul Giamatti (Miles) Thomas Haden Church (Jack), Virginia Madsen (Maya) and Sandra Oh (Stephanie) in a comedy-drama on a weeklong wine tasting adventure.  To celebrate the occasion, experience the first-ever Merlot Taste-Off! happening at Solvang Festival Theater on 9/13/14 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Wines from Baehner Fournier, Blackjack, Brander, Buttonwood, Carivintas, Core, Dascomb, Happy Canyon Vineyard, J. Ludlow, Lions Peak, Lucas & Lewellen, Point Concepcion, Sagebrush Annies, Sevtap, Sunstone and more will be accompanied by gourmet appetizers from local restaurants in the garden courtyard under the oaks at Solvang Festival Theater (420 Second Street). You can taste Merlot for yourself and feel magnanimous about it since proceeds benefit the Theater. Tickets are only $75 and going fast so get yours now at http://www.solvangusa.com/sideways/ Cheers!