Winterfest, Olde Fashioned Christmas entertain one and all



Residents and visitors to the valley spent the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend participating in festive holiday activities.

The events included lighting Christmas trees, enjoying a parade down Mission Drive in Solvang, singing and dancing Danish style in the park, and remembering the solemn reason for the season during Winterfest in Solvang and Olde Fashioned Christmas activities in Los Olivos.

The 57th annual Solvang tree lighting ceremony Nov. 30 at Solvang Park included music and dance performances by the Valley Wind Ensemble, Fossemalle Dance Studio, and the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church Choir.


The parade on Dec. 1 traveled down Mission Drive from Old Mission Santa Ines and included more than 50 entries. The Grand Marshall was David Watts, owner of Jule Hus, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. Lauren Watts, designer of the Jule Hus float, said the theme of their float followed Danish traditions and featured family members and employees.

“Jesus is the heart of the Danish Christmas,” she said. “That is why we had Danish hearts all around our float this year.”

Another float in the parade, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, depicted a live nativity scene. “We wanted to make sure everyone remembered the birth of Christ this season,” said Andrea Matthews, designer of that entry.


The LDS church also offers an upcoming live nativity celebration, ’Twas a Midnight Clear, on Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Solvang Ward, 2627 Janin Way. The Santa Ynez Valley Chorale, singing from Handel’s “Messiah;” the Central City Chordsmen and Quartet; the Solvang, Goleta and El Camino LDS Choirs; and Josh Messina, as well as other soloists, will perform. After the presentation, visitors can view the live nativity and several unusual crèches while they enjoy refreshments.


Continuing the Solvang tradition for the 12th year, the Community Nativity Pageant will be held Dec. 8 at 5 and 7 p.m. at Solvang’s Theaterfest. The free, outdoor event, co-sponsored by the Petersen Inn, includes a volunteer cast and features actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., as narrator of The Christmas Story, and Samuel DePalma, opera singer.

Prior to the show at 4:15 p.m., the Santa Ynez Valley Performing Arts will perform an array of classical ballet choreographies. Between the two performances, the 34-member Valley Wind Ensemble will offer a variety of popular Christmas carols. Lady Marjorie Tayloe started the pageant tradition, and this year’s presentation is being organized by Steven R. Battaglia