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Danish Days Foundation Board of Directors Named Grand Marshals of Solvang Julefest Celebration

Tracy Farhad, executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, coordinator of annual Solvang Julefest celebration has announced that the Solvang Danish Days Foundation members and volunteers are being honored as the 2015 Julefest Grand Marshals.

“The Solvang Julefest committee is honoring this extraordinary volunteer group which has organized Danish Days for 80 years," Farhad said. "And, they just celebrated their 20th anniversary as a nonprofit this year. This incredible charity keeps Solvang’s Danish heritage and culture vital and vibrant. We are delighted to recognize their service this Julefest season.”

Members and volunteers of the Danish Days Foundation will be introduced at the Community Tree Lighting in Solvang Park at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, and they will flip the switch to  light the tree as well as lead the Julefest parade Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, at 11 a.m. through the village streets of Solvang. 

Current members of the Danish Days Foundation board of directors are Brenda Anderson, Hans Birkholm, Max Hanberg, Glen Jacobsen, Linda Johansen, Rick Marzullo. Rodney Nielsen, Bruce Pedersen and Rose Skytt. 

Since 1936, on the occasion of Solvang’s 25th anniversary, members of Solvang’s Danish-American community have coordinated the annual Danish Days celebration in September. In September 2016, the town will hold its 80th Danish Days, celebrating Solvang’s heritage with authentic food, music, dancing, parades, live entertainment and family activities.

In early 1995, the Solvang City Council approached people from long-established local Danish-American families and other interested groups and recommended setting up a nonprofit foundation to formally plan and organize the increasingly popular annual festivities.

The original board members of the Solvang Danish Days Foundation were Ken Andersen, Brenda Anderson, Hans Birkholm, Max Hanberg, Howard Petersen, David Rasmussen and Henry Skytt. The Foundation members meet throughout the year to plan and organize the celebration. 

Solvang, named one of Time Magazine’s “Most Christmas-y Towns in America” sparkles during the 2015 annual Julefest (pronounced Yule-Fest) celebration from Dec. 1, 2015 through Jan. 9, 2016.

Returning this year are free visits with Santa in the Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street), first come, first seated with the jolly old elf. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moments. 

Join Santa from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12; or 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday Dec. 13.​

Other Julefest festivities include the Julefest Christmas Trees Display (Dec. 1-31); the Julefest Holiday Wine & Beer Walk (Dec. 12-13) as well as the traditional Nativity Pageant (Dec.12) and Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail specials Dec. 4-6 and Dec. 11-13 and concluding with the Annual Christmas Tree Burn Jan. 9, 2016. 

Activities are continually updated at www.SolvangUSA.com.

Solvang Julefest events are presented by the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau on behalf of the City of Solvang with sponsorship support from Visit Santa Ynez Valley and other area businesses.

All Solvang Julefest events are open to the public with free admission (excluding Julefest Holiday Wine & Beer Walk).

For more information and ticket purchases, please call 805.688.6144; stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or visit www.SolvangUSA.com.  

Laura Kath is a publicist representing Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.

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