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Look for 12 Christmas Elves at 2017 Solvang Julefest

With the theme A Danish Tradition, Solvang’s 2017 Julefest (pronounced yule-fest) Holiday Celebration (Friday, Dec. 1, through Friday, Jan. 5) has some new free activities this season.

They include the Nisse Adventure, Solvang by Candlelight Walking Tours and Live Music in Solvang Park, as well as strolling musicians and carolers around the village.

For the Nisse Adventure, “Families will be able to explore Solvang while trying to find 12 Danish Christmas elves known as Jule Nisse, for this festive scavenger hunt,” said Daniel Lahr, special program manager and Julefest coordinator for Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau (SCVB).

Visitors of all ages are invited to stop by the Solvang Visitors Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, and pick up a free Nisse Adventure map that provides clues.

There are 12 Jule Nisse (yule nee-suh) hidden around town, each about 16 inches tall. Participants can take a picture of each one on a smart phone or camera, then return to the Visitors Center to prove they've discovered their hiding places and receive a prize.

There is no set schedule to find all the hidden nisse, just complete the adventure by Jan. 5.

For the first time, free Solvang by Candlelight Walking Tours will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, departing from the Solvang Visitors Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive.

A costumed tour guide will provide guests with a battery-powered LED candle; share history and fun facts about Solvang while strolling and caroling along village sidewalks for one hour.

There is a maximum of 20 guests per tour. Tour reservations will be available starting 24 hours in advance by registering in person at the Visitors Center.

There will be free live music in Solvang Park as well as musicians and singers strolling along Copenhagen Drive and Alisal Road, courtesy of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, 26, 28, 29 and 30.

The traditional favorite activities return as well, including free Community Tree-lighting Ceremony, Dec. 1; Julefest Parade, Dec. 2; Nativity Pageant, Dec. 9; free visits with Santa “Julemanden” in Solvang Park, Dec. 1, 2, 9, 16.

Also, Solvang Chamber of Commerce Shop, Mingle & Jingle Weekends; Holiday Wine & Beer Walk “Skål Stroll!” Dec. 9, 10; and concluding with the Christmas Tree Burn Jan. 5.

“It’s easy to see why Solvang was named one of Time Magazine’s Most Christmassy Towns in America with so many free, fun activities for the whole family to enjoy," said Tracy Farhad, SCVB executive director.

SCVB presents Julefest on behalf of the city of Solvang with sponsorship support from Visit Santa Ynez Valley, Waste Management and other area businesses.

Additional open houses at local retailers, special concerts and more taking place throughout the season, with activities being updated at

— Laura Kath for Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.

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