For the first year since the start of the pandemic, the Solvang’s Julefest Parade was held in person. The parade is a celebration of Solvang’s Danish culture, and a major staple of Santa Barbara County’s holiday celebrations.
Solvang was founded by Danish-American settlers, and Julefest is a reflection of the city’s heritage.
Anna Sparks, Solvang Julefest spokewoman, told the News-Press that this year’s parade bore a strong resemblance to the celebrations prior to COVID. “Symbolically, it marks a return to normalcy for the community,” she said.
The parade floats included the following floats in this order: American Legion Riders Orcutt Chapter 534, the Vikings of Solvang, the Lawndale HS Marching Cardinals, the Vandenberg Gymnastics Team, the Swedish Candy Factory, the Jacobson Dairy Equine Center, the Pirate Youth Football League and Cheerleaders, the Santa Ynez High School Varsity Basketball Team, Julia Tipolt State Farm Insurance, the United Boys and Girls Club, the City of Solvang, the Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital, the Solvang Senior Center, the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church, the Fossemalle Dance Studio, the Mechapirates Robotics Team, CASA of Santa Barbara County, Cruz Dance and Entertainment, Coast Range, Capuchin-Franciscans, Boscutti Ballet Theatre, Nimbus Motorcycle Club, Antisocial Stangs, Lemos Feed & Pet Supply, Alisal Ranch, Garcia Dance Studio, Solvang Spice, the Arabian Horse Riding Academy, Sweet Haven Farm SYV, Hotshots Lacrosse Club, Lucky Clover 4H, St. Francis Ranch and, of course, an appearance by Santa Claus.
Of particular note was the entry by the Vandenberg Gymnastics Team, which was a float featuring a living room scene with a mother and her children dressed in pajamas around a Christmas tree, while on the back wall was a girl and boy dressed in military fatigues and a symbol of the U.S. postal service, meant as a salute to our troops overseas.
The Solvang City Council made its appearance on an electric trolley from the Solvang Trolley and Carriage Company, followed by the mayor in a pick-up truck. The trolley and carriage company also provided transportation for the Solvang Senior Center in the form of a horse drawn carriage.
“Organically, Julefest is a COVID-safe event in that almost all activities are outdoors, that is one of the saving graces which allowed us to bring it back this year,” Ms. Sparks told the News-Press.