In 1936, the first Solvang Danish Days festival emerged in honor of the village’s 25th anniversary. Ever since, Danish Days celebrates Solvang’s heritage with authentic food, music, dancing, parades, live entertainment and family activities. In 1946, a reporter from The Saturday Evening Post (an influential magazine of the day) visited during Danish Days and the article that appeared in January 1947 put Solvang on the national map. It stated, in part, “Solvang…a spotless Danish village that blooms like a rose in California’s charming Santa Ynez Valley. Old country charm and customs have been successfully fused with the American way of life. Nowadays…the quaint village is busy living up to its affectionate name, ‘Little Denmark’.”
In the ensuing years, Solvang Danish Days continued to grow and became a signature community event. In early 1995, the Solvang City Council approached people from long-established local Danish families and other interested groups and recommended setting up a non-profit foundation to formally plan and organize the increasingly popular annual festivities.