Despite temperatures reaching more than 100 degrees over the past weekend, people still got out of the house on Sunday to enjoy the streets of the charming Danish town of Solvang.
“It’s such a nice, cute town and everyone here is always in a good mood. They are just all here to just have fun, you know?” Zane St. Andre Jackson said.
A Santa Ynez High School alumni and current Jazz Studies major at UCLA, Mr. Jackson told the News-Press he has spent every weekend this summer playing his saxophone in downtown Solvang. He said before the COVID-19 pandemic, he was used to playing actual gigs at some of the downtown restaurants and wineries, but now has been forced to switch to playing for tips on the street as a new way to help pay for school.
Although he said it was too hot to play on Saturday, Mr. Jackson said he still finds getting out and playing on scorching hot days like Sunday to be a profitable side gig and that in addition, it gives him an excuse to have his favorite Solvang treat, a milkshake at Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates.
“I always go there after I’m done. And that always makes me feel good and makes me feel like I rounded out the day,” Mr. Jackson said. “I haven’t found better milkshakes.”
Founded in 1961, Ingeborg’s features traditional danish chocolate recipes brought to Solvang by Ingeborg Larsen, a former chocolate dipper in one of Denmark’s largest chocolate factories. According to Ingeborg’s website, Prior to moving to Solvang, she had also opened and run her own chocolate shop in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Incoming senior at Santa Ynez High school, Alana Hinkens, has been working at Ingeborg’s for about a year. She told the News-Press she never knew how much she would love working at the world famous chocolate store.
“I just love the history of it, it’s such an interesting story,” Ms. Hinkens said. “And I love how happy we get to make people feel with the chocolates and the ice cream, and it’s like every kids paradise. So it’s just fun to make people’s day with chocolates and stuff like that.”
Like Mr. Jackson, Ms. Hickens said one of her Ingeborg’s favorites on a hot day is the milkshakes, as well as homemade strawberry lemonade sorbet which she said is made on sight with real strawberries and lemon zest.
“It’s a long process,” Ms. Hinkens said. “But it’s worth it, it’s really good.”
After she graduates, Ms. Hinkens told the News-Press she has plans to get her law degree and join the Equal Justice Initiative — a non-profit that works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment and racial inequality.
While she continues finishing out her senior year, Ms. Hinkens said she plans to continue working at Ingeborg’s and enjoying everything her hometown has to offer, even on the unbearably hot days.
“It’s got a small town vibe, but it’s also got the tourists attractions, which is pretty cool,” Ms. Hinkens said.
After he finishes up playing on the streets of Solvang, Mr. Jackson said you can now normally find him downtown Santa Barbara on the south end of State Street. You can also find him on instagram at zanestandresax.
For more information about Ingeborg’s, visit ingeborgs.com