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/

 

More Free Concerts in Solvang Park This Summer!

You and your family can still enjoy FREE, live concerts in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) this month!  Make plans now to spend the following evenings from 5:00-8:00 p.m. enjoying:

Sponsored by Solvang Third Wednesday and Waste Management, you can pick up picnic ingredients at the adjacent weekly Solvang Farmers Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market, or purchase bites from nearby Cecco Ristorante and Cafe Dolce and so many more! So bring your blanks, lawn chairs and beverages and say cheers to summer time fun!

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!

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/

Fascinating Fauna!

So you’re driving east into Solvang on Highway 246, you glance over and see a rather surprising sight–dozens of ostriches grazing in a field! You’ll definitely want to pull over and visit OstrichLand USA, where a highlight is getting to feed the resident emus and ostriches. Did you know ostriches are the largest & fastest birds in the world and can weigh up to 350 pounds and live up to 75 years? If you think this place looks familiar, you may have seen it featured in the Oscar-winning movie Sideways as well as The Simpsons TV show and most recently, The Great Food Truck Race in 2016. Then, a bit further along Highway 246 is Flag Is Up Farms, home of Monty Roberts, the “Man Who Listens to Horses,” where you’re welcome to see the equine facilities and trainers in action. And for some FREE, total cute moments, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m., you can visit Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch over on Alamo Pintado Road, a fascinating breeding facility for 34-inch-and-under horses! Guaranteed family fun for kids of all ages. For more details and ideas, check out http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/