Danish Days is Only a Month Away!

Make sure you mark your calendar for Friday, 9/15/17 through Sunday, 9/17/17 for the FREE 81st annual Danish Days celebration. Sponsored by the charitable Solvang Danish Days Foundation, this amazing activity-filled weekend honors the founding of Solvang by Danish-Americans in 1911. (Hard to believe that was 106 years ago!)

Come be a Dane for the weekend! Want to meet a Viking? Got an appetite for aebleskiver, those delish Danish pancake balls? Want to hear Danish music and do street dancing?  You can enjoy three parades ((Friday night Torchlight; Saturday afternoon Main Parade 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. There are free concerts and live entertainment all around town. You can experience “living history” at the Elverhoj Museum. Don’t miss any of these festivities! You can view all the details and start planning your stay by visiting www.solvangusa.com/events/danish-days/

 

Summer Time IS Ice Cream Time!

With this warm, sunny weather we’re having, if you’re like me and my family, thoughts turn to the classic summer treat—ice cream! I think you’ll agree that Solvang has more ice cream shops and restaurants per capita offering this cool delight than almost any other town our size. Fortunately, with so many places to indulge here, I recommend you stroll around and do some taste testing, then let us know your favorites—are you more of a traditional vanilla or chocolate fan or a cookies & cream or rainbow sherbet aficionado? And let’s not forget frozen yogurts and gelato, too! It’s all here within a few short blocks! Yummy 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 details on all your delicious options, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/dining/

 

Happy 241st Birthday Today, USA! Solvang REALLY Celebrates!

There are so many ways to celebrate today with fun festivities right here in Solvang!  At 10:00 a.m. enjoy a Free Concert by Santa Ynez Valley Wind Ensemble at Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street). Then, the traditional parade starts at 11:00 a.m. presented by the Solvang Rotary Club that rolls along Mission Drive (Route 246); turns south on Fourth Place, then east along Copenhagen Drive and back to the starting point at Old Mission Santa Ines (1760 Mission Drive). This year’s theme is “American Heroes.”  2017 Parade Grand Marshal is a Solvang hero, Jim Kunkle, Sr., a highly decorated World War II US pilot who is a life member of the Legion of Honor, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy near Aachen, Germany, on Sept. 16, 1944. He also received the Air Medal of Honor as well as a Purple Heart. From Noon- 2:00 p.m. enjoy the BBQ and Free Concert by the T-Bone Ramblers at Solvang Park sponsored by Solvang Rotary Club featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, linguiça and all the fixings for $5-7 combos–with chips and soda or water.

From 2:00-3:00 p.m. enjoy a free concert by Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale and local musicians under the direction of Dr. Michael Elgin in Old Mission Santa Inés chapel (1760 Mission Drive) featuring Americana, traditional & patriotic music.

At 2:00 p.m., gates open at Old Mission Santa Ines for the 23rd Annual Solvang Independence Day Festival & Fireworks Show through 9:30 p.m. sponsored by Rotary Club of the Santa Ynez Valley . Admission is only $10.00 per adult; and FREE for children ages 7 and under, as well as FREE for active duty military and immediate family members with ID. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. The Solvang Independence Day Festival has food booths, wine & beer garden, kids’ activities including bounce castle, face-painting and plenty of time to kick-back & relax. All proceeds benefit local charities. Don’t miss the live entertainment on the outdoor stage starting at 5:00 p.m. Then at 9:00 p.m.—the amazing 20-minute fireworks show!

 Remember, there is free parking in public lots and businesses throughout Solvang year-round. The Solvang Visitors Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at 1630 Copenhagen Drive offering free maps, guides, savings coupons and plenty of information. Wishing you and yours a joyful celebration here in Solvang!

Fourth of July Festivities Include Parade, BBQ, Free Concert, Festival and Fireworks Show!

Celebrate USA Independence Day next Tuesday, July 4, 2017, with fun festivities right here in Solvang!  You don’t want to miss anything! At 10:00 a.m. enjoy a Free Concert by Santa Ynez Valley Wind Ensemble at Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street). Then, it’s the traditional parade at 11:00 a.m. presented by the Solvang Rotary Club that rolls along Mission Drive (Route 246); turns south on Fourth Place, then east along Copenhagen Drive and back to the starting point at Old Mission Santa Ines (1760 Mission Drive). This year’s theme is “American Heroes.”  2017 Parade Grand Marshal is a Solvang hero, Jim Kunkle, Sr., a highly decorated World War II US pilot who a life member of the Legion of Honor, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy near Aachen, Germany, on Sept. 16, 1944. He also received the Air Medal of Honor as well as a Purple Heart.

From Noon- 2:00 p.m. enjoy the BBQ and Free Concert by the T-Bone Ramblers at Solvang Park sponsored by Solvang  Rotary Club featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, linguiça and all the fixings for $5-7 combos–with chips and soda or water.

At 2:00 p.m., gates open at Old Mission Santa Ines for the 23rd Annual Solvang Independence Day Festival & Fireworks Show sponsored by Rotary Club of the Santa Ynez Valley . Admission is only $10.00 per adult; and FREE for children ages 7 and under, as well as FREE for active duty military and their immediate family members with ID. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Solvang Friendship House or at the gate on July 4th. The Solvang Independence Day Festival will feature food booths, wine & beer garden, kids’ activities including bounce castle, face-painting and plenty of time to kick-back & relax. All proceeds benefit local charities. Don’t miss the live entertainment on the outdoor stage starting at 5:00 p.m. Then at 9:00 p.m.—it’s what we all want to see—an amazing 20-minute fireworks show!

Remember, there is free parking in public lots and businesses throughout Solvang year-round. The Solvang Visitors Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at 1630 Copenhagen Drive offering free maps, guides, savings coupons and plenty of information. Happy Birthday USA!

Free Concerts in the Park this Summer start June 14th!

You know that “summer” is right around the corner since the days are longer with a lot more sunshine which means more time for outdoor fun! Starting this Wednesday, 6/14/17 and EVERY Wednesday thru 8/16/17—you’ll want to be at Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) for FREE concerts from 5-8pm! The blues/rockers of the Mark Roberts Band will kick-off this year’s sounds. Plus there will be four free bonus concerts on Friday evenings 6/30, 7/14, 7/28 and 8/11, too! For the complete line-up of bands ranging from bluegrass to jazz to good ole rock & roll, check out http://solvang3rdwednesday.com/solvang-summer-concerts/

Remember, Solvang Third Wednesday events continue this summer featuring the Wine & Beer Walk (from 3-7pm), where you can enjoy 2 tastings at 5 places of your choice, for just $20 per person; plus, there an added restaurant deal: select Solvang restaurants feature a special 3-course Solvang 3rd Wednesday menu, for just $25++ per person. As a tie-in to the Solvang Farmers Market, the 3-course menus include ingredients sourced straight from the Market. Participating Solvang merchants offer 3rd Wednesday deals on merchandise. You should definitely consider spending the night with special Solvang Third Wednesday hotel discounts! Cheers to the official arrival of summer in Solvang!

What to Give Those Grads & Dads

Now is the time for graduation ceremonies (and those fun parties) as well as Father’s Day on June 18th—and if your brain is like mine, you know these are definite gift-giving occasions—so time to get shopping! Thank heavens you don’t have to go far since perfect presents can be discovered along practically every block in downtown Solvang! There are more than 150 independent and family-owned boutiques (chain stores are virtually non-existent here). All within easy strolling distance, here’s some ideas to get your gift list handled! Since 1946, Rasmussen’s has featured imports from Europe and Scandinavia—it’s like a general store with so much more!

Check out The Copenhagen House with numerous retail boutiques featuring some of the best contemporary Danish designer brands including Bering (love those watches), Holme Gaard, Louis Poulsen, Rosendahl and Stelton.  How about First Street Leather for luxe wallets, purses, jackets and more. No matter who is on your list, I’ll bet you’ll find The Book Loft is a readers and writers paradise with new and used books, puzzles and games.  Want something one-of-a-kind? How about B.Living offering vintage and modern collections? For ALL your options, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/shopping/

Memorial Day Happenings

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is all most here.  First and foremost, on Monday, 5/29/17, at Noon in Solvang Park–join with officials, veterans, family and friends to commemorate all men and women who have died in military service for the USA. This ceremony is free, everyone is welcome to attend and will feature a performance by the Santa Ynez Wind Ensemble; speakers Rear Adm. Brian Brown, vice commander of the Joint Forces Component Command for Space at Vandenberg Air Force Base; Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans; and members of American Legion Post 160 and the Boy Scouts of America. A flyover of vintage military aircraft is also anticipated. A heartfelt thank you to all who have served esepcially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout this Memorial holiday weekend, there’s certainly plenty of places and opportunities to celebrate with a  picnic! If your family is like mine, picnics in the park are a favorite. There are choices aplenty for perfect picnic settings around Solvang. First of all, did you know ALL Solvang parks are FREE and open to the public daily? Solvang Park & Gazebo right in the center of town on Mission Drive at First Street. For a more active group, check out Hans Christian Andersen Park at 775 Atterdag Road, with a skate park, play areas and tennis courts within easy walking distance of downtown. Then, there’s the super-fun, built by the community Sunny Fields Park on Alamo Pintado Road with a Danish-themed wooden play structure, swings, rope bridge, picnic area, ball field and three brand new beach volleyball courts. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/