Saturday marked the first day of Solvang's "Julefest" celebrations, the town's annual holiday season event.
This year's festivities are said to resemble pre-pandemic "Julefest" celebrations but in a modified, safer way.
"Julefest", pronounced "Yule-fest", is sure to get visitors in the holiday spirit with illuminated displays and celebratory scenes to show the "hygge" culture of the the Danish town.
"I think Solvang naturally lends itself to Christmas very well, I think it has the very Old World Danish architecture throughout downtown Solvang which already feels very storybook," said Jacob Dornan, a producer for the festival. "We just take what's already existing and we just elevate it and kind of bring it to new Christmas heights."
The Solvang Julefest Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. in Solvang Park. Organizers say the tree lighting will include ballerinas dancing around the Christmas tree, live entertainment, and caroling.
The Solvang Julefest Parade is also scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m.
Families can meet Santa in Solvang Park on select Saturday afternoons in the park's gazebo.
Pandemic precautions will be taken for some of the featured events.
"Solvang's Julefest festivities are making a triumphant return this year, after last year's highly modified version of the beloved annual event. 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," said Scott Shuemake, President of IDK Events, planners and organizers of Solvang Julefest 2021.
A beloved Julefest tradition is also back: the Nisse Adventure. Participants can join a city-wide hunt for the Solvang Nisse, or Christmas elves. They are hidden throughout downtown Solvang. Those looking to become elf-trackers can find more information on the Nisse Adventure here. The website contains clues to the various hiding spots.
Saturdays during the Julefest will be jam-packed with activities, such as the Solvang Food Tours and the evening Candlelight Tours. Organizers say the Candlelight Tours are Julefest's only paid experience, and tickets have already sold out.
"Julefest" runs through Jan. 1. Links to information on each activity can be found on Solvang's website.