One of the “Most Christmassy Towns in America” (Time Magazine), Solvang, celebrates its annual Julefest from December 1 to January 6 to bring in the holiday season. This year’s theme, “Celebrate Together” will feature Santa visits and many other festive activities for the whole family.
Solvang also harbors over 150 shops and boutiques offering a variety of unique items perfect for those who need to do their holiday shopping, especially considering the free parking throughout the town. On Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4, stores and boutiques will offer open houses, longer hours, and discounts. For more information about these events, visit http://solvangthirdwednesday.com/shop-mingle-jingle/.
Tracy Farhad, Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Executive Director, says, “We have received early notice from the North Pole that Santa Claus will be in Solvang for free visits and photos ops for the whole family! We’re thrilled to welcome Julemanden (The Christmas Man in Danish) to Solvang Park at the corner of Mission Drive & First Street.” Families can visit Santa on the following dates/times:
Friday, December 2, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 3, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, December 11, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The following is the schedule of events for the 2016 annual Solvang Julefest:
The Community Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) on Friday, December 2 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free live entertainment comprising of area bands, choirs, caroling and ballerinas from Fossemale Dance Studio will surround the 22 foot bright LED tree.
On Saturday, December 3 at 11 a.m., the Julefest Parade will begin at Solvang Veterans Hall (1745 Mission Drive) and end on Alisal Road near the Post Office, and include dancers, musical groups, classic vehicles, horses, carriages and animals. Afterwards, people can view a free performance of The True Meaning of Christmas – Through the Eyes of a Donkey and Mouse, directed by local artist Larry Skahill and starring local children, in Solvang Park Gazebo.
Adults can enjoy the Solvang Julefest Wine & Beer Walk Passport, with 16 wine and beer tasting rooms offering samplings on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The following are participating in this event: Cali Love, Casa Cassara, Copenhagen Sausage & Beer Garden, Dascomb Cellars, Lions Peak Vineyards, Lost Point, Lucas & Lewellen, Olive House, Pace, Presidio Winery, Sante, Sevtap, Sort This Out Cellars, The Good Life, Toccata and Wandering Dog Wine Bar. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/.
The Solvang Festival Theater (420 Second Street) will feature the free production of The Nativity Pageant, or the “Christmas Story,” on Saturday, December 10 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., with performances by Eduardo Villa, former Metropolitan Opera lead tenor; Julie Meyer, an award-winning Christian recording artist and Maurice Sklar, master violinist. Live animals and a choir will also be presented on stage.
On Tuesday, December 13 from 6-7:15 p.m. and 7:30-8:34 p.m., patrons can ride the Christmas Lights & Sights Trolley Tour, showcasing the most festive holiday décor in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley. The rides will depart from Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall (1760 Mission Drive) and include seasonal music and hot chocolate. For tickets, call 805/688-7529.
Solvang Third Wednesday Holiday Edition takes place on Wednesday, December 14 and features promotions from many stores, hotels and restaurants, including the weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market from 2-6 p.m., and the Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk. For more information, visit http://solvangthirdwednesday.com/.
Participants are welcome to bring their Christmas trees from January 2-6 and join the Solvang’s Annual Christmas Tree Burn on Friday, January 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Old Mission Santa Inés (1760 Mission Drive) to begin the New Year. Supervised by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, this event is perfectly safe. Refreshments for purchase and live entertainment will be provided. For more information on this event, call 805/688-7529.
For more information on all events, please visit www.SolvangUSA.com or call the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau at 800/468-6765 or 805/688-6144.