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For several hours Saturday, dozens of volunteers produced thousands of aebleskiver on a downtown Solvang street.
The traditional breakfast of pancake puffs and Danish sausage, or medisterpølse, is a popular part of the town’s annual Danish Days celebration, marking its 80th edition this year.
Even before the breakfast crew started serving, a line of customers waited Saturday morning, and remained steady until they stopped serving after noon on Copenhagen Drive near First Street.
“This is a pretty tireless group of volunteers,” said breakfast chairman Rod Nielsen, adding that the volunteers show up in costumes and cook over the hot stoves.
“It’s an amazing community effort,” he said. “We really could not do it without them.”
With large and small aebleskiver pans, cooks greased the round cups before pouring batter. They quickly made quarter turns until a sphere formed, continuing to use knitting needles or similar tools to turn the ball-shaped dough until evenly golden brown.
“It’s harder than you think,” added Tracy Farhad, executive director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.
Many of the volunteers represented several generations of families, including a mother-daughter cooking team of Debbie Haug and Kori Mang.
“They have not stopped since 8:30 this morning,” Farhad said of the pair in early afternoon.
Organizers estimated that 1,400 people were served plates of three aebelskiver topped with powdered sugar and raspberry jam.
Danish Days will continue Sunday, when the crew will cook more aebleskiver from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A breakfast of three aebleskiver costs $7, or $8 with a Danish sausage link.
A free aebleskiver-eating contest will occur at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Copenhagen Drive and First Street.
Sunday’s highlights also include an Old World Artisans Marketplace, starting at 9 a.m., and the third and final parade of the the weekend, the Children’s Parade at 2 p.m.
The closing ceremony is at 2:45 p.m. Sunday in Solvang Park, at the corner of Mission Drive and First Street.
Danish Days, organized by the nonprofit Danish Days Foundation, kicked off Friday with several events, including the Torchlight Parade and opening ceremony at which 2016 Danish Maid, Natalya Nielsen, was introduced.
Saturday’s events included the main parade, which featured Mike and Martha Nedegaard as grand marshals.
Click here for more information about Danish Days, including a full schedule of events.