Staff Report

Artisans, storytellers and craftspeople will demonstrate their skills and entertain visitors when the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art celebrates Solvang’s history and cultural roots on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16.

Admission is free to the two-day Living History Festival on Danish Days weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

living history festival

Clara Ehrsam demonstrates the centuries-old tradition of bobbin lace making.

“There will be hands-on activities for all ages and the Danish Christmas Corner with gifts and accessories rooted in Danish traditions,” said Esther Jacobsen Bates, the Elverhoj’s executive director. “Guests can make paper craft decorations, get creative with Viking runes stamps, weave paper stars, dress up like Vikings and snap selfies, and shop for Danish Christmas keepsakes.”

Inside the museum, exhibits come to life with demonstrations. Bobbin lace makers will hand weave intricate designs and offer guests an opportunity to try this centuries-old art. Docents in colorful folk costumes will be creating Danish Christmas crafts such as woven paper hearts and paper stars.

Storyteller Randel McGee, always a festival favorite, will perform as world famous author Hans Christian Andersen at 1 p.m. each day.

From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, papirklip artist Rick James Marzullo will demonstrate the Danish folk art of papercutting that has earned him international acclaim.

living history festival

Rick James Marzullo will demonstrate papirklip, the Danish folk art of papercutting that has earned him international acclaim.

Rounding out the weekend of free activities are docent-led tours of the museum’s historical, cultural and art exhibits.

The museum occupies the former residence of one of Solvang’s most artistic families. The historic handcrafted structure was the dream home of artists Viggo Brandt-Erichsen and his wife, Martha Mott.

The museum is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a large art exhibition titled “Past, Present & Future.”

Along with rotating contemporary exhibitions in the gallery, Elverhøj features a variety of permanent exhibits that address Solvang’s Danish heritage and early history, the Danish emigration to America, and various Danish artifacts. In the museum garden is a diorama cottage depicting Solvang in the 1920s and more photographs showing the early years of Solvang’s founding.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit or call 805-686-1211.