Velkommen Rancheros Visitadores!

This Saturday (5/6/17), head into downtown Solvang around 3pm to welcome more than 700 members of the Rancheros Visitadores “visiting ranchers” for their free equestrian parade. You can greet them as they head north along Alisal Road then east on Mission Drive to Old Mission Santa Ines for a gathering and blessing by the padres. Watch these handsome horses, riders and carriages stride by—once again, they will be attired in pink shirts to support the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara at Sansum Clinic to raise money for local breast cancer patients.

Afterward, the Rancheros will canter/trot/gallop along the Santa Ynez River trail for their week-long trek and encampment nearby. This long-time private men’s membership club is gathering here for the 87th time to celebrate horsemanship, western heritage and ranching traditions. For all the happenings around town anytime, be sure to visit http://www.solvangusa.com/events/

Say I Do in “Little Denmark”

happy-valentines-day-everyone-vectorSince today (2/14/17) is Valentine’s Day, your thoughts can turn to love and marriage if you’re like me! Admit it, at some point, you (or someone you know) has dreamed of jetting off to Europe and tying the knot. Yet flying to Europe to get married can be time and cost prohibitive. Yet it doesn’t have to be if you “get hitched” here in Solvang, California’s Little Denmark. Combining amazing Scandinavian architecture, incredibly scenic venues, and mild year-round weather with friendly, professional services is the recipe for any memorable special event.

From just you two or 200 or so, I think you’ll “fall in love” with choice of 18 exceptional hotels plus even more places with banquet/meetings rooms and outdoor areas. Consider some of these options: the gardens at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, the Wildling Museum art-filled rooms; Solvang Festival Theater (private reception area under the oaks), Solvang Park (with its charming gazebo), Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall (so versatile, great hardwood floors for dancing) or Hans Christian Andersen Park (delightful shady picnic groves easily reserved) or historic churches including Old Mission Santa Ines and Bethania Lutheran (pictured at left). Solvang_BethaniaChurch

The staff at the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau is happy to offer recommendations and referrals. Just call 1-800-468-6765 and make your wedding dreams reality in Little Denmark! 

 

Hot Hot Hot!

2013 Solvang Xmas Tree Burn-Crowd Silhoueted by FlamesIf you and your family want to experience a “hot” celebration, then be sure to attend the FREE annual Solvang Christmas Tree Burn in the fields at Old Mission Santa Ines, 1760 Mission Drive in downtown Solvang from 5:00-7:00 p.m. this Friday, 1/6/17. The lyrics of the classic tune “Hot Hot Hot” really capture the action “It’s in the air – Celebration time — Keep up this spirit — Come on let’s do it — Feeling hot hot hot!”

2013 Solvang Xmas Tree Burn-Supervised+Ignited by FirefigthersThis popular annual event is supervised by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department as one of the largest fire safety demonstrations and community gatherings on California’s Central Coast; and coordinated by the Solvang Parks & Recreation Department. There will be free, live entertainment as well as refreshments for purchase. All area residents are invited to bring their tree (stands & ornaments must be removed) to the burn pile between now and Noon on 1/6/17. Join together to see this powerful spectacle ignite the New Year and herald the end of Solvang’s annual Julefest Celebration. For more details, call Solvang Parks & Recreation at 805-688-PLAY.

Julefest er Her! (Christmas Fest is Here!)

20130424-Solvang-Julfest-gazebo_MG_9142Can you believe it’s almost here? It’s the start of 2016 Solvang Julefest! Say Yule-fest and you’ll sound like a native! This Friday (12/2/16) at 5:00 p.m. you and your family are invited to join the festivities as we light-up the “new” drought-resistant LED Community Tree in Solvang Park during a free ceremony featuring caroling, live entertainment and dancing ballerinas.

2012-solvang-julefest-parade-honen_9319You & yours definitely need to experience the Julefest Parade this Saturday (12/3/16) at 11:00 a.m. with 300+ participants marching, rolling, trotting and strolling thru downtown Solvang. It starts at the Vets Hall heading west along festively decorated Mission Drive; to Fourth Place then east on Copenhagen Drive back to Alisal Road and the Old Mission.  I’m really looking forward to announcing the Julefest parade again, too!

100_9139Plus, there will be free visits with Santa in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street).  When you arrive, it’s first come, first seated with the jolly old elf. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moments! Click here for Santa’s schedule per message from the North Pole!

Other Julefest festivities include the Holiday Wine & Beer Walk (December 10 & 11)  as well as the traditional Nativity Pageant (December 11) and Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail specials all around town. Julefest concludes with the Annual Christmas Tree Burn on Friday, January 6, 2017. All Solvang Julefest events are open to the public with free admission (except Julefest Wine & Beer Walk). For more info, please call 805-688-6144; stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or visit www.SolvangUSA.com/julefest

Vintners’ Harvest Festival Grand Tasting in Solvang is 10/8/16

Solvang, CaliforniaAre you ready to celebrate the autumn vineyard harvest? The grapes and their winemakers are really ready!  Mark your calendar for October 7-10, 2016, the annual Celebration of Harvest Weekend sponsored by the non-profit Santa Barbara Vintners organization. There are so many exciting events and activities, you’ll definitely want to come stay, sip and swirl in Solvang for awhile!  The Festival Grand Tasting will be Saturday, 10/8/16 from 1-4pm at the historic Old Mission Santa Ines right in downtown Solvang featuring more than 100 vintners plus food tastings, live music, silent auction and more.Merlot wine glasses

On Saturday morning before the Grand Tasting, check out the “Women in Santa Barbara County Wine” seminar from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Hotel Corque featuring six winemakers on a panel moderated by Gabe Saglie, noted food, wine & travel journalist.  Also at Hotel Corque on Friday, 10/7/16; there is a Harvest Dinner kick-off event featuring older vintage wines brought by guests and winery representatives. You can also get a Vintners Visa (a tasting pass to twelve area tasting rooms over the four-day weekend) plus savor various tasting room open houses and vineyard walks all around the area. For complete details and to get your tickets, visit http://www.celebrationofharvest.com/  

COH14_Logo with slogan

Fourth of July Festivities!

SolvangIndependenceDay2009--163Celebrate USA Independence Day on Monday, July 4, 2016, with fun festivities right here in Solvang!  First up, at 10:00 a.m. in the Solvang Park Gazebo, a free concert by Valley Wind Ensemble. You don’t want to miss the traditional parade at 11:00 a.m. presented by the Solvang Breakfast Rotary Club that steps/strolls/canters/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 “Valley Life and Liberty.”   Grand Marshals are brothers Erik and Hans Gregersen, whose grandfather Rev. Jens Gregersen was one of Solvang’s founders in 1911.

SolvangIndependenceDay2009--194From Noon- 2:00 p.m. enjoy the BBQ and Free Concert by the T-Bone Ramblers at Solvang Park sponsored by Solvang Breakfast 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 22nd 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  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. This year, six 2016 Teen Star finalists will perform: Jillian Garnett, Kaitlyn Chui, Daniel Geiger, Rachel Guron and Jericho Guron.

fireworks-wallpaper-wallpaper-download-17Then at 9:00 p.m.—it’s what we all want to see—an amazing 20-minute fireworks show!

 

 

Also at 2:00 p.m., the Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale and The Jamboree Band will perform at the Old Mission Santa Inés this year (since Solvang Veterans Memorial Building hall is currently under renovation). The concert will feature 100 percent made-in-America music including “What a Wonderful World,” a medley of songs celebrating the West and patriotic, rousing tunes such as “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Happy Wanderer”  under the direction of Chris Bowman. Concert goers who arrive before 2 p.m. may enter for free; after 2:00 p.m., you will be asked to pay admission to the Solvang Independence Day Festival.

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 240th Birthday USA!

Runners & Riders & Mother’s Day, Oh My!

RUN-SBIt’s the first full weekend in May this year and so much is happening around these parts! For the runner in you, the 10th anniversary of the Wine Country Half Marathon crosses the finish line in Solvang on Saturday morning, 5/7/16. Registration is still open, so “run” to make your plans today!

Rancheros Visitadores at Old Mission Santa Ines in SolvangLater on Saturday afternoon (5/7/16) around 2:00 p.m. on, you can help welcome more than 500 members of the Rancheros Visitadores “visiting ranchers” for their free equestrian parade north along Alisal Road then east on Mission Drive to Old Mission Santa Ines for a gathering and blessing by the padres. Watch these handsome horses, riders and carriages stride by—once again, they will be attired in pink shirts to raise money for breast cancer patients. Afterward, the Rancheros will canter/trot/gallop/lope along the Santa Ynez River trail for their week-long trek and encampment nearby. This long-time private men’s membership club is gathering here for the 86th time to celebrate horsemanship, western heritage and ranching traditions.

momAnd don’t forget, Sunday, 5/8/16 is Mother’s Day, so remember to remember Mom and celebrate her with some special treats or a visit to Solvang. For all the events happening around town anytime, be sure to visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/calendar-of-events/