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Multitude of upscale holiday celebrations slated for Santa Ynez

6 Dec 2013 9:08 AM
Multitude of upscale holiday celebrations slated for Santa Ynez

While the Santa Ynez Valley typically doesn't see a substantial amount of snowfall during winter, the close-knit affluent community in the southeastern portion of California has long been the site of exciting events and and cheerful celebrations during the holiday season. Previously recognized as one of "The Most Christmassy Towns in America" by Time magazine, the city of Solvang has a lot to offer residents and visitors this time of year. 

If you will be in the area, and are interested in sharing in the spirit, you'll likely want to make time to attend the following occasions that will be held in the near future. 

The 100 Trees of Julefest
?Throughout the month of December, uniquely decorated trees will be featured at 100 area businesses, affording all the chance to enjoy the holidays' special aestetic and view a range of beautifully curated foliage. The event's moniker derives from the area's Scandanavian roots, and accordingly, more than 150 local boutiques and specialty shops will be selling wares influenced by tradition, including everything from Danish porcelain, clogs and antique collectibles, to handmade lace, jewelry and distinctive iron art. 

Annual tree-lighting celebration
As is tradition, the city's 50-foot evergreen tree will be ceremoniously illuminated in Solvang Park as thousands look on. Similar to previous years, a multitude of live entertainment will be offered for free leading up to the lighting, such as bands, ballerinas and spirited caroling. Attendees of all ages will be able to catch a glimpse of Santa himself, as the man in red is expected to make an appearance during the event. The festivities are scheduled to commence at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6.

Ice skating and seasonal merriment
Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9:45 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8, individuals are encouraged to practice their ice-skating skills at the area's very first ice rink, located next to the Village Christmas Tree in Solvang Park. It is important to note, however, that those interested in participating should make sure to reserve tickets ahead of time, as organizers expect attendance to be high. Admission is just $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 12 and under, and includes the price of skate rentals. Tickets for a 45-minute session can be purchased through the official website for Julefest. 

Solvang Christmas Parade
Another annual tradition enjoyed locally by holiday revelers is the Christmas parade. This year's event will begin at 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 and feature Danish dancers, vintage automobiles, numerous musical groups, horses, carriages and various animals. Originating at Old Mission Santa Ines, the procession will travel west on Mission Drive before continuing on to Fourth Place, Copenhagen Drive and Alisal Road, prior to concluding. Afterward, Santa Claus will be available for visits. 

Holiday Wine Walk
As the holiday season gets into full swing, individuals will be afforded additional opportunities to share in the holiday spirit. On both Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15, area oenophiles can enjoy visiting 13 different tasting rooms, as part of the city's wine walk. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., attendees will be invited to leisurely stroll along the scenic streets, view the seasonal lighting schemes and visit the many unique shops that will provide an exclusive sample of vintage and contemporary blends. Tickets are available for $40, which includes entry to both days, as well as a souvenir wine glass to commemorate the occasion.

As individuals across the country begin to make plans with their close friends and beloved family members, Santa Ynez should not be overlooked as a premier destination. In addition to the ample holiday spirit, the average temperatures make this area a comfortable climate in which to celebrate.