2019 Solvang Julefest 1

Solvang once again will light up for the holiday season just in time for the annual Julefest celebration. Pictured is a scene from the 2019 Julefest.

Solvang's annual Julefest celebration will return to Santa Ynez Valley Nov. 27 thru Jan. 1 with a slightly modified events calendar that includes the traditional tree-lighting ceremony at Solvang Park and the elf-tracking Nisse Adventure, according to event organizers. 

“Solvang’s Julefest festivities are making a triumphant return this year, after last year’s highly modified version of the beloved annual event," said Scott Shuemake, IDK Events president. "We will still have some slight modifications in place this year to accommodate the ongoing pandemic, but we will also be introducing some new Julefest elements for the enjoyment of our locals and visitors.” 

While event details are expected to take shape in the coming months as COVID-19 regulations allow, Solvang will still light up with holiday cheer in the form of new displays and scenescapes that twinkle at night, keeping with its reputation as one of "the nation's most Christmas-y towns," according to the announcement.

Solvang Julefest festivities continue through December

A groups of Jule Nisse will be hidden throughout the city of Solvang until Jan. 1.

“Solvang Julefest is an iconic holiday season ‘thing’ along California’s Central Coast," Shuemake said. "It shines a twinkly light on Solvang’s Danish heritage. We’re so excited to be able to bring it back this year, for everyone looking for a little bit of a European holiday in Southern California.” 

The preliminary events calendar includes:

  • Solvang Julefest Tree Lighting Ceremony: Friday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. at Solvang Park, to include dancing ballerinas, live entertainment and caroling
  • Solvang Julefest Parade: Saturday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. The parade route will be announced.
  • The monthlong Nisse Adventure search returns on Nov. 27, where participants can join in a citywide hunt for the mischievous Solvang Nisse (Christmas elves). Participants can refer to www.NisseAdventure.com to find animated videos containing clues to Nisse hiding spots. Guests will be able to scan a QR code to continue finding Nisse and earn a special prize upon completion.

All Solvang Julefest events are open to the public with either free or paid admission.

For more information and event updates, visit www.SolvangJulefest.org.

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.