Halloween Weekend in Spooky Solvang

Costume-up and join the charming town's pre-holiday festivities.

TRUE STORY: "Sleepy Hollow" was not set in Solvang, though its storybook appearance might cause a fan of Ichabod Crane to understandably think otherwise, given that many iterations of the Washington Irving tale feature a distinctive windmill in the distance. But Solvang does embrace the time of year most associated with "Sleepy Hollow," a little stretch known as late October, and more specifically Halloween. And while the town hosts a party that isn't Ichabod-themed, but rather takes on the general Halloween spirit, you might just feel that you've stepped a buckle-topped shoe into some sort of fairy tale if you visit the Santa Ynez Valley destination in the days before the holiday, or on the holiday itself. Why? Because the cozy, easy-to-walk burg does it up each year with a costume-cute Street Fair. That's scheduled in 2016 for...

SUNDAY, OCT. 30, so be there on All Hallow's Eve Eve when "food trucks, kid games, live entertainment," and more merrily macabre sights arrive in the Golden State's windmilliest location. And the pretty stem atop this pretty pumpkin? The Solvang Festival Theater will be staging "Fractured Fairy Tales" on the two nights surrounding the Street Fair (so Oct. 29 and 31). Enter "a dark forest" which will come alive with vignettes from "Goldilocks," "Hansel and Gretel," and more. It's the kind of walk-around, be-a-scared(-but-not-too-scared) small-town-y sweetness that we can grow nostalgic for come the holidays. You won't see Ichabod out in the neighboring vineyards, or his nemesis the Headless Horseman, but you will spy several delights of the hoots-and-howls holiday.

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