By Kyah Corff

SYV Star Intern

Danish Days was wrapped up in adorable fashion again this year with the Children’s Parade on Sunday afternoon, highlighting and celebrating the community’s children.

With huge smiles on their faces, children walked or rode decorated bicycles or wagons down the streets of Solvang while waving to a cheering audience.

“​The Children’s Parade was a nice way to help end the event with something short and sweet,” said Donna Andersen Ineman, a coordinator of the event since 1996. She has seen all her kids participate in the parade and has watched the event grow over the years.

Photo by Kyah Corff

About 50 children of all ages made the short journey down Copenhagen Drive to Alisal Road, then back through an alley to Solvang Park. The route is intentionally kept short so kids can walk or ride without getting too tired.

The parade was led by the 2016-2018 Danish Maids — Christiana Heron, Gabriella Heron and Natalya Nielsen. Children followed on bikes, in wagons, on foot, and throwing candy. The SYV Jazz Band also had a float, trumpeting the parade around.

The parade ended with ice cream donated by Ingeborg’s Chocolate Shop, ribbons for participants, and Danish Days festivities in Solvang Park.

Nine-year-old Warren Crawford enjoyed riding his bike in the parade because he could “ride on the streets without being scared of cars” and because “I love ice cream!”

The best part of the event, for most, was the joy in the children’s smiles as they were applauded by the crowd. “Who doesn’t like to see a smile on a child’s face? They love the attention and the ribbons,” Anderson Ineman said.

Also participating in the parade was Ashlee Madrid, the 1999 Danish Maid, with her daughters Adeline and Aleena Madrid. She has continued being involved in the community and her daughters have been in the parade since they were newborns.

“It gives them roots in their culture and a chance to celebrate all the wonderful things about being Danish,” said Ashlee, explaining her love for the Children’s Parade.

“I wanted to be in the parade because I like to walk down the streets and see everyone … It’s just fun!” added 10-year-old Adeline.

Kyah Corff is a senior at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.