Located in California’s Santa Barbara County, Solvang is a village that is commonly referred to as the Danish Capital of America. The village was established by Danish-Americans in 1911, and the annual Solvang Danish Days festival aims to celebrate and preserve the area’s unique heritage. Held this year from the 16th of September until the 18th of September, these are some of the festival highlights that you can look forward to.
The festival’s Opening Ceremonies are usually quite a grand affair, and well worth watching in person. Held in Solvang Park, a number of Danish VIPs will be present, and there will also be a few traditional street dance performances by Danish dancers. For those who stick around until the end, you will also be able to enjoy a short Hans Christian Andersen story, narrated by Randel McGee.
Old World Artisans Marketplace
The Old World Artisans Marketplace will be held throughout the festival, and focuses on showcasing the very best of Scandinavian arts and crafts. From fabric art to pottery to woodworking, you will no doubt be able to pick up a number of one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as check out a few demonstrations by some of the artists that will be present.
Living History Festival
In order to really bring Danish history alive, Solvang Danish Days has teamed up with the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art to create the Living History Festival, featuring a diverse range of storytellers, craftspeople, and interactive displays to appeal to all ages. This year, there will be special displays focussed on the Vikings, as well as the chance for visitors to speak to a popular Viking re-enactment leader.
Music is always a key element of just about every festival, and Solvang Danish Days is no different, with numerous free concerts held throughout the weekend. The very first group to perform will be Manne, a trio of Danish musicians, while those who would prefer some classical music should stay for the Danish Days Organ Concert, which will feature a lively mix of music from across the centuries. Galaxy, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West, will also be performing a family friendly concert, playing everything from country to rock to top 40 hits. For those who would like to learn some traditional dancing, tickets are available for the Danish Days Dinner Dance, which features a Danish-style barbecue followed by live music and traditional dancing.
Viking Beer and Wine Garden
When it comes time to stop for a drink, head to the outdoor Viking Beer and Wine Garden. Here, you will find a tempting range of Danish imports, as well as some local brews and wines.
With everything from traditional Danish food and drink, free concerts, re-enactments of history, and plenty of arts and culture, it is no surprise that Solvang Danish Days is always a popular festival. There are so many different entertainment options to choose from on each of the days, so, if you would like more information in order to plan your trip, head to the festival’s website for a detailed schedule.