Danish Maid has deep roots in the Solvang tradition

Star Report

Gabrielle Heron has been named the 2017 Danish Maid by the Solvang Danish Days Foundation. Gabrielle’s great-grandfather, Axel Nielsen, debuted the festival as a celebration of the village’s 25th anniversary in 1936.

Solvang Danish Days will be celebrated this year from Sept. 15-17. The festival honors the 1911 establishment of Solvang by Danish-Americans including Axel’s immigrant parents, Marcus and Andrea Nielsen, who hailed from Mors, Denmark.

Gabrielle will preside over this year’s Danish Days, which marks its 81st anniversary with a three-day-weekend event that celebrates Solvang’s Danish heritage with authentic food, music, dancing, parades, live entertainment and family activities.

Gabrielle’s hand-made Danish Maid dress is inspired by traditional wedding gowns circa 1750 – 1900’s. Her dress will be a traditional black and red and inspiration from her mother Betina Heron who was also Danish Maid in 1988.

Look for our extensive interview with Gabrielle in an upcoming issue of the Santa Ynez Valley Star, along with more stories about Danish Days and a schedule of events.