Santa Ynez Valley News, “Foodies delight: Solvang Danish Days Festival dishes out new eats and entertainment”

Contributed Report | Aug 29, 2018

Aebleskiver Breakfasts at Solvang Danish Days festival

Solvang Danish Days crew in the Aebleskiver tents during the Aebleskiver Breakfast. {Photo Credit: Theresa Gingras}

The 82nd annual Solvang Danish Days festival set for Friday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 16, aims to showcase the tastiest slice of Solvang’s Danish foodie culture honoring both traditional and contemporary flair.

The family-friendly event invites foodies attending, to once again have their pick of the customary Aebleskiver Breakfast, offered both Saturday and Sunday mornings 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. However, those seeking a side of competition with their famous Danish pancake rounds, may enter the free Aebleskiver Eating Contests, also scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Saturday’s Aebleskiver Eating Contest might be the most challenging in the history of the Danish festival, as Southern California-based competitive eater Raina Huang will join the challenger line-up in an effort to see who can eat the most Aebleskiver in a matter of 5 minutes. All ages are welcome at the free eating contests, which are held in the Aebleskiver Breakfast area, near the intersection of Solvang’s Copenhagen Drive and First Street.

Guests can expect an adventure in eating with the festival’s own “Viking Burger” — medisterpølse (Danish sausage) patty — topped with Swiss cheese, grilled onions and an array of condiments, served atop an onion bun. Tasty hot dogs from The Doggy Door and creative takes on Danish open-faced sandwiches (“Smørrebrød”) will be for purchase courtesy of All Purpose Flower (Friday) and IslandMix’s food truck (Saturday). Hungry goers can choose from Smørrebrød variations such as boquerones with lemon, garlic, radish, herb butter, pickled leeks, and chicken liver pâté, bacon, pickled daikon, cilantro, jalapeño, tobiko.

The Viking Beer & Wine Garden promises to quench attendees’ thirsts with late hours on Friday (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.), featuring a spirited mix of imbibing options including the iconic Danish suds, Carlsberg from Pacific Beverage Company, and craft brews from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. and wine from local Santa Barbara Wine Country labels.

These Danish-style food packaged experiences are available online: “Dane For A Day” VIP ticket bundles are reserved for guests desiring to “live like Vikings” throughout the event weekend and Aebleskiver Breakfast tickets and “Dane For A Day” VIP ticket packs are available for advance, online purchase at

Returning to Solvang Danish Days this year, are food and beverage promotions at select, participating establishments. Participating businesses will continue to be updated online at


Danish Days guests looking for a break from their edible pursuits may line Solvang’s streets for one of the weekend’s main events, the Danish Days Parade. Featuring 2018 Danish Maid, Christiana Heron, this year’s parade will also showcase the 2018 Danish Days grand marshals, Solvang’s own Glen and Michele Jacobsen. The 2018 Parade’s theme is “Beautiful Denmark by the Sea”.

Overall admission to Solvang Danish Days is free, and guests-on-a-budget have plentiful entertainment options including multiple outdoor concerts and al fresco performances. Danish Days weekend kicks off at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, with a picnic-friendly live concert in Solvang Park (Mission Drive and First Street), by Carpinteria- and Santa Ynez Valley-based surf-rock band, The Rincons.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, the Danish music trio “Manne” will perform in varied Solvang locations. Traveling all the way from Denmark, Manne exclusively play old Danish hits – some dating as far back as the 1920s. Manne’s performance schedule will be posted to the Danish Days website.

The free music continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. when the “Danish Playboys Revisited” (Richard Diaz and Band) take the main stage in the Danish Days Midgaard Pavilion.

Immediately following the first performance, and on the same stage, is a second Saturday evening concert, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., by California Central Coast classic rock band, T-Bone Ramblers.

The Danish Days Midgaard Pavilion Stage sits in Parking Lot 2, in downtown Solvang, adjacent to the Danish Days Viking Beer & Wine Garden (Copenhagen Drive, between First and Second Streets). All ages are welcome at the Saturday concerts; you must be 21 years or older to enter Viking Beer & Wine Garden.

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