December in October: Solvang Julefest Tickets

It's been called one of our country's "Most Christmassy" towns.


JINGLE BELLS ON THE WIND: There's a lot of sighing over the fact that holidays start earlier and earlier, even when an entirely different holiday may be having its day in the sun. Or the full moon, in the case of Halloween. But yuletide doings are welcome a few months ahead of schedule when they originate in one of the most Christmassy towns in America (per Time back in 2011). We are, of course, talking about Solvang, a village so pert and cute it looks like Santa might reside there during the off-season he is not making his list of good girls and boys. So when Solvang gets going on Julefest -- its annual multi-event holiday celebration -- it is a-ok for them to start the party early. Or at least ticket sales: Julefest admissions went on sale on Oct. 1, meaning yuletide buffs and Solvang regulars can book their spots at Holiday Wine Walk, Solvang on Ice, and all of the other ornaments that dot the season in the Santa Ynez Wine Country spot. Plus a new shindig called...

S'MORESFEST: Yes, S'MoresFest. We felt this deserved its own stand-out paragraph, and we hope you agree. It's year one for this brilliant food concept -- is "brilliant" a strong enough glowing term? -- and it happens right plunk in the middle of December, or nearly, on Dec. 14. Let us type it one more time, so you may commit it to memory: S'MoresFest.

BUT... if you want to cover autumn first in the pastry-laden, tasting room-packed burg, you should. The clever and photographable Scarecrowfest starts its month-long Solvang run on Oct. 11. Wait. Is that a scarecrow that looks like a pizza over there? Why yes. Yes it is.

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