It’s time to dust off your wooden clogs, prepare some Aebleskiver batter and buy a case of Carlsberg — Solvang Danish Days is back.
The Danish capital of America is getting set to host its annual weekendlong street fair and celebration for the first time in more than two years following back-to-back cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solvang, a small town located along Highway 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, is a world-famous tourist trap known for its Denmark-inspired food, culture and architecture — including its iconic windmills and miniature Danish replica landmarks.
Each September, the town channels its history and European influences to organize a full slate of Danish-inspired events and entertainment. This year’s festival is the 85th anniversary of the first Danish Days.
For three days straight, the town center transforms into an entertainment hub with parades, musical performances and street dancers. The city also highlights its most famous contribution to the California culinary circle: the Aebleskiver.
The pancake-meets-doughnut-hole pastry is highlighted with a breakfast banquet in the middle of Copenhagen Drive, as well as an Aebleskiver eating contest.
For residents of Solvang, the return of Danish Days signals a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Being located along Highway 101 between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the city’s economy relies heavily on money from tourism.
Despite the challenges that the pandemic caused, the city has seen a tremendous bounceback with record-breaking revenues from hotel and sales taxes, according to Santa Ynez Valley News.
Ultimately, though, the festival is a celebration of local tradition and Danish heritage. Many of the residents of the small town are descended from the original Danish founders that established the city in 1911.
Danish Days begs the question: what would Mardi Gras look like if the town went to bed at a reasonable time? You’ll just have to find out on your own.
For the complete schedule of events, click here.