ELVERHØJ MUSEUM OF HISTORY & ART

Solvang's Silver Anniversary

June 5-7, 1936

Twenty-five years after its founding, Solvang celebrated its Silver Anniversary with a grand three-day party in typical Danish fashion. Beginning on June 5, Grundlovsdag (Denmark’s Constitution Day), the jubilee brought people from surrounding areas and throughout the state as Solvang opened its arms in a moment of pride and inclusivity.  

The whole town of Solvang organized, supported and participated in the festivities. Activities included parades, a torchlight procession, folk dancing, gymnastics, an open-air theatrical tableau, concerts of choral singing and solo performances, speeches, three amateur plays, barbecues, and street dancing. For a town of approximately 600 people, Solvang hosted a massive celebration with visitors estimated to be more than twice the local population.

Townsfolk in costume for the Vikings pageant

One particular highlight of the anniversary jubilee was the performance of The Last of the Vikings, a pageant portraying the life and times of seafaring Vikings staged in the College Bowl in Fredensborg Canyon below Atterdag College. Elaborate costumes were handmade for the cast of 50 locals, with the addition of professional Hollywood actors and props.

Summer concerts in Solvang Park
Image courtesy of Tenley Fohl

Dedication Monument

Another highlight was the dedication of Solvang Park. Located near the intersection of First Street and Lompoc Road (present day Mission Drive), the new community park was developed on land donated by the Gregersen family. The commemorative plaque and sundial – unveiled on June 6, 1936 – remain on a stone monument next to the bandstand. The park is a popular gathering spot and a green oasis in the middle of Solvang.

Many descendants of committee members remain in the area.

The 25th anniversary party was such a success, the event was repeated the following year and the next, ultimately becoming the annual Danish Days celebration held the third week of September.  Due to COVID-19 the fate of Danish Days 2020 is yet to be determined. In the meantime, we look forward to continuing to share Solvang’s rich history and traditions.

Stay safe,

The Elverhøj Team

Want to learn more about the history of Solvang?
The Spirit of Solvang book is available for shipping or curbside pick-up. Call 805-686-1211 or email info@elverhoj.org to place an order.

$39.95 plus tax
+ $7.95 for shipping

Excerpts from 1936 Jubilee Program

ELVERHØJ MUSEUM of History and Art

1624 Elverhoy Way
Solvang, CA 93463
805-686-1211
www.elverhoj.org

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