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Solvang adds attractions to Julefest

Naja Hill

SOLVANG, Calif. - The Solvang JuleFest is underway. Friday night they kicked off with the Saint Lucia parade, a meaningful Christmas danish ceremony in honor of the martyr St. Lucia.

This festival is a yearly tradition in Solvang that celebrates Danish culture.
The city re-vamped this year‘s festival offering a month-long of various activities - many of them new attractions.

“It definitely is different this year,” said Solvang resident Jessy Verkler.

The city added a light show along Copenhagen Drive. The music-themed show goes from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. every half hour from Thursday to Saturday.

“It just feels magical with all the lights. The businesses come out and put up trees and they decorate,” said Verkler.

Businesses stay open late, something the city encourages, to give merchants a chance to reap in the profits during the holiday season.

The city has enhanced the yearly event in hopes to drive tourism up and benefit from hotel occupancy tax dollars. Mayor Ryan Toussaint said winter months tend to bring in fewer visitors.

“One of our goals with all the events here in Solvang is to increase those overnight stays and it's also very important to our local merchants because, as you know in retail, the holiday months are the most important,” said Toussaint.

They also put more focus on lighting up the quaint town.

“All the stores have lights all over them. We have over 100 Christmas trees. All decorated in front of the different merchant stores,” said Toussaint.

Tonight marked the first St. Lucia parade the city has embarked on. Bringing out horse carriages decked in Christmas lights for onlookers to enjoy.

“When I come here I feel very much in the spirit of Christmas,” said Solvang tourist Zaida Anya.

Events to follow over the festival will include a Drone show on December 21st and the city's annual Christmas Tree Burn on January 3rd.

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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