The city of Solvang’s Julefest celebration kicked into high gear with a tree-lighting ceremony at Solvang Park on Dec. 7, followed by the annual holiday parade through the village the next morning.


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A few hundred revelers converged on the park for the evening tree-lighting festival, during which they were also able to enjoy holiday tunes from the Santa Ynez Valley Union High chorus and a live band. Spectators lined the sidewalks on Dec. 8 for the parade, which was led by grand marshal Ken Palmer, a longtime city councilman and former Solvang mayor. The final float of the parade featured Santa Claus, who continued to Solvang Park at the parade’s conclusion to meet and greet a large group of children who excitedly awaited his arrival. Julefest continues with a day of shopping and live entertainment throughout town on Saturday, Dec. 15. The Solvang Festival Theater will also host a nativity pageant that night.

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