Christopher Wight took first place in Solvang’s first LEGO building competition.
Mr. Wight’s previous LEGO craftwork has helped with projects for the LA Auto Show and the construction of an oversized model of the neurology wing at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
On Sunday, Mr. Wight’s first-place creation was a viking ship with the Danish mill bakery on top. The first place prize was $5,000 cash.
“On Saturday the competitors were given a tour of the town and all the Danish bakeries. He really interpreted and took in everything and soaked up all the little information and reflected that in his artwork. When he was building, locals were giving him information on the town, they told him about the Nisse or small gnomes and he included one as well,” Karen Conway, Program Manager for Cogs & Marvel, told the News-Press on Sunday. Cogs & Marvel was the organizing company for the event.
In second place was Bill Vollbrecht, who created the replica of the chef and his daughter featuring Danish pastries. The second place prize was $2500 cash. Mr. Volbrecht is a former Master Model Designer and LEGOLAND Parks designer.
The third place prize of $1000 cash was awarded to Tiffany Thompson of Bakersfield. Ms. Thompson recreated a busy Danish village which included four different bakeries.
On Sunday at 11 a.m., all competitors were required to bring their completed projects to Copenhagen St., where they were placed on display before the judging began at noon with four judges and one special guest judge, Allyson Gail. Ms. Gail is the Event Manager and LEGO coordinator for the competition. Ms. Gails’ work has been featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show and The Brick Brothers by LEGO.
The Danish-rooted town of Solvang played home to the building competition of the Danish block brand, serving as the inspiration behind the two-day family friendly competition, pitting some of the top LEGO builders in Solvang and the surrounding area against each other.
Kid-favorite LEGO blocks were originally made of wood; Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen created the first version of the building blocks in the 1930s. Denmark is still home to the original LEGOLAND and LEGO House.
“I am inspired by the creativity of each artist and how they interpret Solvang as a town and the bakeries individually. They are all so different. Families are coming along and seeing the projects. We had a lot of people come through yesterday as well and the ones still in town will get to see the finished projects,” said Ms. Conway.
Competitors created their own unique takes on Solvang’s five fabled Danish bakeries. Projects include replicas of bakeries around town, lifesize replicas of food, the viking ship, and large windmills, Ms. Gail told the News-Press on Saturday.
“One of the most popular projects was the one that all the kids told me had a dragon,” Ms. Conway told the News-Press.
The townwide event kicked-off Saturday at 10 a.m. and the building period ran through 4 p.m. before resuming Sunday morning. Competitors were stationed in large white tents, in high traffic areas of Solvang’s Northern European architecture and ambience as a backdrop to the competitors recreating their best version of a storybook bakery.
“I think a lot of locals came to see a lot of the creations and were very excited and are even asking about next year,” said Ms. Conway.
The Danish Mill Bakery bought the winning build by Chris Wight, and is installing it in the bakery’s window.