Parades and tree lightings conducted in Buellton, Santa Ynez and Solvang

By Raiza Giorgi

There were so many smiling faces and festive decorations at the several local events which kicked off the holiday season. 

Santa Ynez started the holiday festivities with its annual Christmas Tree Lighting that happens every Dec. 1. Folks were entertained with dancers from Fossemalle Dance Studio and popcorn and treats were given away at the Santa Ynez Historical Museum. Children were also delighted to tell Santa and Mrs. Claus all the things they wanted for Christmas as well as getting a hug from Mickey Mouse. 

The tree lighting then took place in front of Panino’s on Sagunto Street with ballet dancers first doing a performance around a smaller tree. People cheered when the lights on the tree lit up. 

The next event was the Solvang Julefest Tree Lighting on Friday, Dec. 3, in Solvang Park where the Fossemalle Dance Studio dancers again danced around the tree before it was lit. 

On Saturday, Dec. 4, was the Julefest Parade, which took a different route through Solvang and had more than 30 entries with the Vikings of Solvang deciding to do the route twice. The streets were lined down Copenhagen Drive to Second Street and back up Oak Street to Alisal Road for this year’s parade. There wasn’t a Grand Marshal named this year, nor were there any entries given “Best Of” awards. 

Continuing the holiday celebrations on Saturday, the Los Olivos Olde-Fashioned Christmas held its modest tree-lighting ceremony.

Buellton rounded out the weekend with its annual Winter Fest on Sunday, Dec. 5, kicking off that morning at the Buellton Rec Center with Breakfast with Santa, and included the neighborhood parade and ended with tons of snow at the Holiday Village, located behind Tractor Supply Company. The tree-lighting ceremony happened at 7 p.m. as the event’s final hurrah. The holiday village event included 20 tons of snow, vendors, music and live performances and beer/wine/spirits.

Julefest is scheduled to culminate with the Solvang Tree Burn on Jan. 7 in the empty fields at Mission Santa Ines. People can always participate in the self-guided Nisse Adventure in Solvang through the month as well. 

More information, including the calendar of events and tickets when needed, can be found at

Photos by Raiza Giorgi