Christmas Joys and Events in Solvang
Solvang, named one of Time Magazine's Most Christmassy Towns in America,” will sparkle again during the 2015 annual Julefest (pronounced Yule-Fest) from December 1 through January 8. This year's theme. The Gift of Peace, will feature free Visits with Santa in Solvang Park, shopping at more than 150 boutiques, and a holiday wine and beer walk. More than 100 decorated trees will appear throughout the village as visitors observe the traditional Community Tree-lighting Ceremony, the Julefest Parade and Nativity Pageant. Plus, there will be many open houses at local retailers, special concerts and more taking place throughout the season. For info, please call 805-688-6144; stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) and visit www.SolvangUSA.com.
Julefest Calendar of Events
Saturday, December 5, 11:00 a.m.
Julefest Parade with 250+ participants including dancers, musical groups, vintage vehicles, horses, carriages and animals. The parade originates at Solvang Veterans Hall (1745 Mission Drive) travels west on Mission Drive, turns left on Fourth Place, turns left on Copenhagen Drive, and ends on Alisal Road near the village Post Office. Be on the lookout for Santa . . . as well as the soon-to-be-named 2015 Grand Marshal.
Friday, December 11 through Sunday, December 13
Shop, Mingle & Jingle is sponsored by the Solvang Chamber of Commerce/Third Wednesday, discover dozens of merchant-driven events and happenings. More specific details at http://solvangthirdwednesday.com/shop-mingle-jingle/
Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 11:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m.
Solvang Julefest Wine & Beer Walk features more than 15 wine and beer tasting rooms throughout the village offering samplings. Tickets are $40 per person (must be 21 years or older) for the 2-day pass including a souvenir wine glass.
Saturday, December 12, 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Nativity Pageant also known as the “Christmas Story” comes to life in at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater (420 Second Street). Enjoy a choir, actors in traditional costumes, and live animals on stage. There are two FREE performances with seating on a first come, first entertained basis. (In the unlikely event of rain, performances will be held at an alternate location to be announced).
Tuesday, December 15, 6:00-7:15 p.m. and 7:30-8:45 p.m.
Christmas Lights & Sights Trolley Tour features the best of holiday décor throughout Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley. Seasonal music and hot chocolate will be served on board by Solvang Parks & Recreation Department elves. Only two trips offered, each departing from Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, 1760 Mission Drive. Tickets are $13 per person in advance or at the door, yet expected to sell out. To reserve seats, call 805-688-7529.
Wednesday, December 16
Solvang Third Wednesday Holiday Edition throughout the village featuring deals at local merchants, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors; the weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market; discounts at local hotels; and the Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk. Details at http://solvangthirdwednesday.com/
Friday, January 8, 5:00 -7:00 p.m.
Solvang's Annual Christmas Tree Burn in the fields of Old Mission Santa Inés, 1760 Mission Drive; 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. Live entertainment and refreshments for purchase will be available. All area residents are invited to bring their tree (stands & ornaments must be removed) to the burn pile between January 3-9, 2016 and then join together to see this powerful spectacle ignite the New Year and herald the end of Solvang's Julefest Celebration. For more information on this one-of-its-kind event, call 805-688-7529.