Danish Days: Solvang’s History-Laden Lark

Dance, eat æbleskivers, and cheer on a parade.

Danish Days

DANCING IN THE STREETS: Downing several æbleskivers in one sitting? No one says you must, but if that's your particular pleasure, you should find your way to a certain windmill-whimsical, clog-tastic, pastry-rich town near Santa Barbara. It's Solvang, of course, that we speak of — the windmill reference surely gave that away — and it's a town that pauses each year to celebrate Danish Days. Perhaps "pauses" is not the right word, for there is a parade, and people swinging other people in the streets, and some hearty souls who attempt to devour as many doughy yum balls (yes, æbleskivers) as they can in one dessert-y dash. And while the strollable town has a number of other notable festivities on the annual calendar, including the popular Taste of Solvang in March and Julefest in December, it is Danish Days that features the Viking Encampment, a Beer & Wine Garden, and æbleskiver breakfasts, where you may eat as slowly as you like, savoring each confection-perfect bite. But, of course, there are the...

EATING CONTESTS... centered around the superstar sweet, if you prefer to eat your pastry in fast fashion. Everything kicks off on Friday, Sept. 15 with a free concert in Solvang Park, and the schedule remains jam-packed through Sunday afternoon. ("Jam"-packed, of course, is an æbleskiver shout-out, which you know, since jam is the traditional accompaniment to the delicious balls of goodness.) Also on the roster? An organ concert, chainsaw carving, a torchlight parade, an Old World Artisans Marketplace, an appearance by Hans Christian Andersen, courtesy of Randel McGee, and several more small-town-y, oh-so-quaint doings. Keep in mind, too, that you'll be right smack in the Santa Ynez Valley wine country in the middle of September, an ideal place to be during an ideal time, if you do like wine. Prepare to frolic, to nosh upon pastries and other authentic Danish delicacies, and to cheer on chainsaw carving, in Solvang, from Sept. 15 through 17, 2017.

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