Danish Days returns to Solvang in September with full lineup of events | Valley Life

Downtown Solvang soon will be full of smiles and Danish tradition as the 85th annual Danish Days event returns in September with authentic food, music, dancing, parades, live entertainment and activities for all ages.

The three-day fall festival — which kicks off Friday, Sept. 16, and runs through Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19 — marks a full return of the festival that was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

The 2022 celebration will once again offer attendees a total Danish immersion experience while honoring the establishment of Solvang by Danish Americans in 1911. The annual event is organized by members of the Solvang Danish Days Foundation, a nonprofit founded by local Danish families in 1995. 

As part of the festivities, Danish Days guests can experience the life of a Viking with the purchase of a “Dane For A Day” VIP ticket bundle, as well as feast upon handmade Danish pastry rounds — the aebleskiver — at the annual aebleskiver breakfasts to be held on Saturday and Sunday. Advance breakfast tickets can be purchased online, while “Dane For A Day” package sales will launch in the coming weeks, an event spokeswoman said.

The preliminary three-day weekend lineup is as follows and is subject to change: 

Friday, Sept. 16: 

4 to 9 p.m.: An ax-throwing arena hosted by the professionals at SLO AXE CO offers members of the public an opportunity to try their hand at ax throwing. Participants must be 13 years of age or older, with parent of guardian present for those ages 13 to 17. Closed-toe shoes must be worn. Event tickets soon will be available.

5 p.m.: Live musical performance will take place on the Midgaard Pavilion Stage in Parking Lot 2, adjacent to the Danish Days Viking Beer & Wine Garden. All ages are welcome, although only those 21 and older can purchase alcohol at the Viking Beer & Wine Garden. The band for the free concert is yet to be announced. 


5 to 9 p.m.: Viking Beer & Wine Garden will be open, with only those 21 and older allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages. Sales support the Solvang Danish Days Foundation. 

7:30 p.m.: Torchlight parade is open to all ages, with candles to be provided. The route begins at Alisal Road and Laurel Avenue, continuing south down Alisal Road and ending at the Midgaard Pavilion Stage, located in Parking Lot 2, adjacent to the Danish Days Viking Beer & Wine Garden.

8 p.m.: Opening ceremonies introducing the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Danish Maids will occur in Solvang Park, with performances by Velkommen Street Dance to follow. 

The maids include 2020 Danish Maid Isabella Lopez, 2021 Danish Maid Kayla Bandel and 2022 Danish Maid Aleena Madrid. Bandel is making Danish Days history as the oldest Danish maid to hold the title at 32 years old, a foundation spokeswoman said. The title is more traditionally bestowed upon a high school senior.

Saturday, Sept. 17:

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Aebleskiver breakfast on Copenhagen Drive and First Street is open to the public. Tickets are $10 per person, or $12 with a Danish sausage. Advance tickets are available at solvang-danish-days-2022.eventbrite.com or at the event entrance.

9 a.m.: Old World Artisans Marketplace on First Street will feature demonstrations and hand-crafted items including Scandinavian arts and crafts, woodworking, papercutting (papirklip), rosemåling, fabric art, jewelry and pottery. The Danish Sisterhood booth also will be set up. 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Kid’s Korner will feature the popular Lego tent in Solvang Park.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: So-called rune reader Tracey Boyer will in attendance at Solvang Park. Fortune telling will be free to guests for entertainment purposes. 

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Living History Day is planned at the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art, 1624 Elverhoy Way. Exhibits will come to life during this free, interactive history lesson for all ages. Craftspeople, artisans and storytellers will demonstrate their skills and entertain visitors. 







072022 Danish Days Aleena Madrid

Aleena Madrid has been named the 2022 Danish Maid and will join 2020 Danish Maid Isabella Lopez and 2021 Danish Maid Kayla Bandel to preside over the 85th annual Danish Days in September.




10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Denmark’s favorite author Randel McGee will give readings as Hans Christian Andersen at 10:30 a.m. at The Book Loft and 1 p.m. at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art.

11 a.m. to 9 p.m.: An ax-throwing arena hosted by the professionals at SLO AXE CO offers members of the public an opportunity to try their hand at ax throwing. Participants must be 13 years of age or older, with parent of guardian present for those ages 13 to 17. Closed-toe shoes must be worn. Event tickets soon will be available.

11:30 a.m.: A 5-minute aebleskiver eating contest will be held in the Midgaard Pavilion in Parking Lot 2, adjacent to the Danish Days Viking Beer & Wine Garden. All ages are welcome to compete.

12 to 4 p.m.: A guided Solvang food and photo tour will be led by Santa Barbara-based “Eat This, Shoot That!” Participants will tour the best comfort food, hidden watering holes and artisan shops in downtown Solvang while learning about the local history. The tour includes 9-10 tastings and foodie locations, bites and sips and foodie photo tips and tricks to using your smartphone camera. Advance ticket purchase is required. Details will soon be available at eatthisshootthat.com/tours/solvang.

12 to 9 p.m.: Viking Beer & Wine Garden will be open, with only those 21 and older allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages. Sales support the Solvang Danish Days Foundation. 

2:30 p.m.: Danish Days Parade will feature the Solvang Village Band atop the Carlsberg Beer Wagon, floats, equestrians, Village Dancers and more.

Lineup starts at 1:30 p.m. on First Street, between Molle Way and Oak Street. Parade begins east on Copenhagen Drive, and will travel north on Alisal Road, west on Mission Drive, south on Fourth Place, east on Copenhagen, south on Second Street and finish at the corner of Oak Street near Solvang City Hall. There is no cost to participate in the parade. Applications are available at www.SolvangDanishDays.org/contact-us.

3 to 9 p.m.: Free concerts will take place on the Midgaard Pavilion Stage in Parking Lot 2, adjacent to the Danish Days Viking Beer & Wine Garden in downtown Solvang. All ages are welcome, although only those 21 and older can purchase alcohol at the Viking Beer & Wine Garden. Concerts are free and open to the public. The Lowdown Dudes will perform from 3 to 6 p.m. and the T-Bone Ramblers will play from 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday, September 18:

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Aebleskiver breakfast on Copenhagen Drive and First Street is open to the public. Tickets are $10 per person, or $12 with a Danish sausage. Advance tickets are available at solvang-danish-days-2022.eventbrite.com or at the event entrance.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Kid’s Korner will feature the popular Lego tent in Solvang Park.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: So-called rune reader Tracey Boyer will in attendance at Solvang Park. Fortune telling will be free to guests for entertainment purposes. 

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Denmark’s favorite author Randel McGee will give readings as Hans Christian Andersen at 11 a.m. at The Book Loft and 1 p.m. at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art.

2 p.m.: The Children’s Parade will begin at Atterdag Square, corner of Atterdag Road and Copenhagen Drive, and roll down Copenhagen Drive to Solvang Park. All children and families are welcome to join the event. There is no charge to participate, and costumes are encouraged.

2:30 p.m.: Danish Days closing ceremony will be held in Solvang Park. The 2020, 2021, and 2022 Danish Days Maids will ceremonially close the festival weekend.

For updates, parade applications and contact information, go to www.SolvangDanishDays.org, or visit the Solvang Danish Days Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.