California’s premier Danish heritage festival, “Solvang Danish Days” (www.solvangdanishdays.org), celebrates its 80th anniversary this year with a three-day event weekend line-up set for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18. The 2016 Solvang Danish Days theme—“Think of Something Danish”—will be exalted during this year’s event, which honors the 1911 establishment of Solvang by Danish-Americans.
Solvang Danish Days 2016 will once again provide attendees with a total Danish immersion experience while helping to preserve Solvang’s authentic Danish heritage, and will offer an online purchase only “Dane For A Day” VIP ticket bundle, for guests looking to “live like Vikings” throughout the event weekend. In addition to the VIP ticket package, those looking to gain quicker entrance to either Saturday or Sunday’s Aebleskiver Breakfasts, may now purchase tickets for either day’s Breakfast on-line, in advance. All advance, online tickets are now available, here: solvang-danish-days.eventbrite.com.
Since Solvang Danish Days’ modest beginnings in 1936, when the festival debuted as a celebration of the village’s 25th anniversary, the event has set out to fête Solvang’s Danish heritage with authentic food, music, dancing, parades, live entertainment and family activities. In 1946, a reporter from then-influential The Saturday Evening Post, visited Solvang during Danish Days and the resulting article, which appeared in January 1947, put Solvang on the proverbial map. The article stated, in part, “Solvang…a spotless Danish village that blooms like a rose in California’s charming Santa Ynez Valley. Old country charm and customs have been successfully fused with the American way of life. Nowadays…the quaint village is busy living up to its affectionate name, ‘Little Denmark’.”
As Danish Days nears its 80th birthday, the festival continues to mesh “old country charm and customs” with a more modern “way of life”, through its varied activities that meld present-day Danish practices with traditional ways, while still exemplifying everything Danish. The weekend’s numerous offerings, encompassing activities for all ages, range from fan-favorite food events surrounding the iconic Danish pastry rounds, Aebleskiver; to a Danish-style beer and wine garden serving Danish import, Carlsberg beer, alongside local brews and wines; to a historical reenactment in the form of a Viking Encampment*; to chainsaw wood-carving demonstrations, an Old World artisanal crafts marketplace and a contemporary Solvang merchant walk.
Overall admission to Solvang Danish Days is free, and entertainment options abound during the weekend with three parades, folk dancers and Danish musicians performing in spots scattered about the town, plus two feature events on Saturday evening: the fundraising Danish Days Dinner Dance, and the Solvang 2nd Century Street Party*, both of which feature live music.
“During Solvang Danish Days, everyone gets a chance to be ‘Danish’ for a weekend. We look forward to Danish Days every year, and we thoroughly enjoy everything that the event brings—to our local community, and to the visitors who join us from all over the world,” says Natalya Nielsen, 2016 Danish Maid.
The 2016 Solvang Danish Days event weekend schedule is available online, at www.SolvangDanishDays.org.