Solvang's Month-Long Julefest Is Merry and Major

Actually, the festive celebrations alight in three calendar months, making it one of our state's biggest seasonal musts.


HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS? There seem to be as many types of Decembertime to-dos around California as there are various flavors of cocoa on the store shelf. Some regional parties focus on food, others are all about the carols, and plenty of gleeful goings-on keep Santa in the jovial center of things. But, for the most part, festivals tend to last a single night, or an afternoon, or perhaps a weekend at most. Then the holly comes down, and the tinsel, too, and the happening has officially wrapped for another year. But what can you say of a mondo, multi-part, month-big event, one with several components, a fanciful festivity that starts just after Thanksgiving and reaches its finale not long after New Year's Day? You can say that...

SOLVANG's JULEFEST... is probably what we're talking about, and you'd be completely correct. For this famous year-ender of a hoedown really does have something for everyone, from a grand parade, complete with 400-plus participants, on Dec. 7, to a traditional take on Santa Lucia Day on Dec. 13. Candlelight tours full of atmosphere, and spirited chances to raise a glass of great local wine (or two or three), are also on the packed-to-the-rafters calendar. The Aurora Dronealis, a sparkly, in-the-sky show, will lend the winter solstice some ooh-ahh whimsy, while the annual Tree Burn cools the season right down on Jan. 3 (for sure, the fire department is at the lead at this sizable safety demonstration).

THE WINDMILL-WONDERFUL TOWN... is often cited as a seasonal sweet spot, the quaint town that could easily give the North Pole some competition in the sheer cheer department. Solvang has a reputation to uphold, is what we're saying, and uphold it, it definitely does, each and every delightful December. Take a look at the full Julefest schedule, which includes a bouquet of bashes that can only truly be described as sensationally Solvangian.

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