Conditions after Wednesday night’s storm nix annual event signifying end of Julefest

Staff Report

The Solvang Christmas Tree Burn, which was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 6, has been canceled, the City of Solvang announced Thursday afternoon. The cancellation came after Wednesday’s night’s rainy weather into Thursday morning caused conditions making it impossible to do the event at Mission Santa Ines.

“The rain has been a wonderful and long overdue necessity. But the heavy rains do come with consequences. One of them, unfortunately, is the cancellation of this year’s Tree Burn Event,” the city said in a press release. “Although some of the saturated trees may still be able to burn, the tree pile site at the Mission Santa Ines field has been inundated with water resulting in very large puddles, excessive mud, terrible footing and giant ruts from various vehicles driving directly to the pile to drop off trees causing unsafe terrain.”

The release said that while Friday’s weather is projected to be clear, the poor conditions remain in the field next to the mission, where the trees were to be burned. 

“We are all disappointed that this annual event will not take place this year,” the release continued. “We are working with Waste Management and the tree pile will instead be recycled into mulch. Trees can still be dropped off (due to excessive mud no vehicles, carefully walk it in from the parking lot) through the end of next week by January 13.” 

The city release ended by saying it looks forward to this community event returning next year with the right conditions, and thanked residents for their patience and understanding.

The Christmas Tree Burn was to signal the end of Julefest, the city’s monthlong celebration of the holidays. The festival start Nov. 26, and kicked into gear the first weekend of December, with the tree lighting and parade.