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/
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/
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!
Are you a fan of fairy tales? April 2nd is the birth date of Hans Christian Andersen, one of the world’s most famous Danes and father of the modern fairytale—including favorites such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Princess & The Pea and The Ugly Duckling. Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805 and lived until August 4, 1875 and would have been 212 years old this year! To celebrate, pay a visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum located at 1680 Mission Drive in the cozy second floor above The Book Loft and Solvang Coffee Company. Year-round, you can discover so much about this fascinating author. Did you know that this FREE museum is the only one in the USA dedicated to him? It’s filled to the rafters with originals and copies of Andersen’s books, sketches, paper cutouts, silhouettes and collages that kids of all ages can enjoy. And just a block away, don’t miss the bronze statue Andersen in Solvang Park. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/directory/hans-christian-andersen-museum/
Solvang has more than 150 independent and family-owned boutiques (chain stores are virtually non-existent here). There are some special places where you can discover amazing art and antiques to grace your home and office or for special gifts. At the award-winning Z Folio Gallery be dazzled with Czech art glass, handmade designer jewelry, innovative decor and giclée nature photography along with designer trunk shows and exhibitions. Solvang Antiques is a premier collective featuring restored clocks, music boxes, estate jewelry, American and European furniture, silver, lighting and glass. Judith Hale Gallery (within Solvang Antiques) offers paintings, prints, sculpture and other mediums for discerning collectors. A Piece of the Past is an antique and vintage mall with 4,000+ square feet with two dozen different dealers of delights. Artistic Pony Studio has quality handcrafted jewelry, pottery and glassware from 30 artists; Art Hus is a co-op artists ‘collective offering truly unique items. Be sure to check out these Solvang fine art galleries: Christopher L. T. Brown; Gerlach Photography Nature Gallery; Pavlov Art Gallery; and Thomas Kinkade: Places in the Heart. Discover more details here:http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/shopping/
You’re probably very well aware that Tuesday is February 14—Valentine’s Day! So, have you shopped for something special for your sweetheart (or sweetheart-to-be) yet? Sharing a treat is a delicious way to show you care—and it’s so easy to do here in Solvang since this is the place to satisfy sweet cravings year-round. So many of us crave chocolate! Discover family-owned/operated Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates that has been using authentic recipes for handmade confections since 1961 (how can you possibly choose between mile or dark chocolate truffles made with filled with so many options?) Also founded in 1961 (what was going on that year?) is the Old Danish Fudge Kitchen that makes the real deal using an impressive copper pot heated over a gas-burning stove mixing 25-pound batches with all-natural ingredients; then poured onto marble tables for cooling (you can watch and sample, try the chocolate peanut butter or yummy dark chocolate and other specialty blends.) And if you can’t make it to Solvang in person right now, both of these shops will ship direct to your sweetheart!And of course, Solvang’s five authentic Danish bakeries have plenty of options too!
If you’re really stumped, you can definitely make reservations for breakfast/lunch or dinner treats at one of Solvang’s incredibly diverse restaurants! For more delicious details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/dining
You definitely don’t want to miss any of tempting flavors and tantalizing events during the 25th annual Taste of Solvang this year from Wednesday, March 15 through Sunday, March 19, 2017! This popular celebration features a variety of food and beverage experiences featuring Solvang area chefs, bakers, farmers, winemakers, brewers, distillers and artisans showcasing the bounty of the region.
Remember, there’s the popular Farmers Market Chef Walks on Wednesday, 3/15—this year choose from Chef Pink of Bacon and Brine or Chef Steven Snook of First & Oak; a Learn To Blind Taste Like a Sommelier at Wandering Dog Wine Bar on Thursday, 3/16,; Sip + Savor Opening Night with 25 Santa Ynez Valley chefs, bakers, caterers, winemakers, and brewers on Friday evening 3/17; Tasting Trail with 32+ taste stops around the village on Saturday afternoon 3/18; the popular Beer & Wine Walk on Saturday & Sunday with extended hours. New for 2017 . . . on Saturday evening, there’ll be a Buttonwood Farm Winery Winemaker Dinner at Cecco Ristorante AND on Sunday morning, choose from Sunday Brew Brunch at The Backroom at Valley Brewers or Sunday Brunch at Mad & Vin at The Landsby.
Purchase your Taste of Solvang ticket package OR individual event “ala carte” tickets well in advance since these palate pleasing events are always sell-outs. (And if you’re looking for a great Valentine’s gift for your special someone–think Taste of Solvang!) Get more delicious details and buy your tix here: www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang-2017