California town prepares for annual celebration of all things Denmark

The Danish Capital of America is once again welcoming visitors to experience a taste of Copenhagen.

Solvang, the small wine country town in the mountains of Santa Barbara County, is finishing up its preparations for the annual Danish Days festival.

Danish Days is an annual tradition in the sleepy town of Solvang, which was founded in 1911 by Danish immigrants who purchased 10,000 acres of land looking to recreate a piece of home. The city’s iconic architecture reflects the sensibilities of classical Denmark and many of the town’s residents are descendants of the original settlers.

It’s a regular pitstop for travelers along Highway 101 looking for some of Southern California’s finest wine tasting, or simply a place to pull up and rest between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Danish Days is a yearlong planning affair and is one of the town’s largest and most economically important attractions.

This is the best California town to visit for Christmas

The weekend-long street fair features live music, traditional dancing and Danish cuisine — highlighted by the world famous Danish holiday desert aebleskiver, a pancake-meets-doughnut-hole pastry that can be found at restaurants throughout the town.

A serving of the traditional Danish holiday desert Aebelskiver is seen in Solvang, California as part of the town's Danish Days celebration in September 2022. (Deborah Chadsey Photography)

Among the events happening next weekend is a free aebleskiver eating contest, which will feature social media star and competitive eater Raina Huang. Huang last competed in the contest back in 2019, prior to a two-year festival hiatus spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018, she set a personal record of 36 aebleskivers in five minutes.

The festival will also highlight the Viking history of Scandinavia with an interactive Viking encampment in the town’s centrally located park, with historic reenactors ready to show and tell the story of Denmark.

A child plays with LEGO bricks in the center of Solvang, California during the annual Danish Days celebration in September 2022. (Deborah Chadsey Photography)

There will also be a Danish Days LEGO building competition with some of the nation’s most prolific master builders.

The iconic building block and toy company is one of Denmark’s most well-known and beloved companies. The contest will take place throughout the weekend in Solvang’s modest downtown.

If you’ve ever wanted to slide on a pair of wooden clogs and travel back in time, Danish Days is the time to do it.

The festival takes place between Sept. 15-17, and will come to a conclusion following children’s parade and closing ceremony.

For a complete list and schedule of events, click here.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX 5 San Diego.