City of Solvang, California Announces Plans for Saturday, December 21, First Annual "Only in Solvang" Christmas Drone Show during 2019 "Solvang Julefest" Holiday Event

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Tech Meets "Merry" in New Solvang Julefest Highlight Featuring 100 Autonomous, Choreographed Drones Displaying Customized Holiday Imagery above Village of Solvang, in the Only Southern California Holiday Drone Show of its Kind

Aurora Dronealis exemplifies Solvang’s melding of old fashioned holiday charm with cutting-edge, modern technology...this Christmas Drone Show is an ‘only in Solvang’ happening, meant to brand the town in visitors’ minds as the ultimate Southern California holiday experience

The City of Solvang has officially announced plans for the first annual Solvang Julefest Christmas Drone Show, “Aurora Dronealis”, scheduled for Saturday, December 21, 2019 ( The new addition to the annual Solvang Julefest festivities (; pronounced ‘Yule-Fest’), which run in their entirety from November 30, 2019 through January 3, 2020, will be the only holiday drone show of its kind in Southern California, during the month of December.

Sponsored by the City of Solvang, and designed and executed by Firefly Drone Shows (, one of only a handful of FAA-licensed drone show operators in the U.S., the synchronized drone swarm light show will include 100 autonomous drones with similarly choreographed music, in an approximately 15-minute display. The December 21 Christmas Drone Show, which will begin at 6:30 PM, will be visible five-plus miles from the show’s base point, a central Solvang location in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley wine country.

“Aurora Dronealis exemplifies Solvang’s melding of old fashioned holiday charm with cutting-edge, modern technology,” commented Scott Shuemake, President of IDK Events, producers of the 2019 Solvang Julefest. Shuemake continued, “This Christmas Drone Show is an ‘only in Solvang’ happening, meant to brand the town in visitors’ minds as the ultimate Southern California holiday experience.”

Although viewable from five-plus miles, the optimal viewing experience for the Christmas Drone Show will be within a few thousand feet. Producers of the December 21 Solvang Julefest drone show will be offering ticketed grandstand seating at the show’s base, providing the most immersive experience with a custom soundtrack, concession stands, holiday vendors and more. Grandstand tickets will be available at In the event that the December 21 drone show cannot happen due to weather conditions, the show will occur on Sunday, December 22.

The family-friendly, custom-designed drone light show, which will display holiday imagery familiar to all ages, is the newest addition to this year’s revamped Solvang Julefest, the Santa Barbara County town’s annual celebration of all things “holidays”. The month-long, 2019 holiday season event will entail multiple seasonal happenings all located within the walkable California Central Coast destination of Solvang, most recently named by Country Living as one of the USA’s “Best Christmas Towns”.

“We’re so excited for this fantastic holiday display. We can’t imagine a more grand expression of what Solvang has to offer during the holiday season. It is quite literally, a shining example of all that’s new to Julefest, and to the entire town,” said Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint.

Aside from its entertainment value, the new Christmas Drone Show addresses Solvang community concerns about noise as a result of a possible alternate Julefest event: fireworks.

Shuemake added, “The drone show will not produce the noise that fireworks do, which often scares pets. Also, the fire, smoke and safety concerns which arise from fireworks displays, will be nonexistent with a drone show.”

The 2019 edition of Solvang Julefest will once again feature the event’s crowd-pleasing components like the interactive Nisse Adventure experience, evening Candlelight Tours – with a VIP-level option – and visits with Santa in Solvang Park, as well as the annual Tree Lighting event, Skål Wine and Stein Stroll, and Julefest Parade, all with deliberate enhancements to heighten holiday spirits.

New to this year’s Solvang Julefest, in addition to the Christmas Drone Show, are different facets to Santa visits in Solvang Park. Accompanying the traditionally-free photos with Santa, will be a photo opportunity in the Solvang Park Gazebo: a photographic setting for capturing “holiday moments”. Solvang Park will also feature a new Julefest play area, “Santa’s Lade” (Santa’s Barn), a children’s winter wonderland with snow and live animals.

Also new to this year’s Solvang Julefest, is the celebration of Saint Lucia Day on December 13, the highlight of which will be a lighted, evening children’s Parade through town, led by the symbolic “Saint Lucia”, a young woman chosen to portray the special saint. The after-dark procession will include illuminated floats and Parade entries.

On New Year’s Eve (December 31), in Solvang Park, guests will enjoy a family-friendly, daytime countdown to the Danish New Year with a simulcast of the party happening in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens.

Solvang, known for its Danish-American roots, architecture and design details, pastries, bakeries and wine tasting rooms, also boasts dozens upon dozens of unique boutiques, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors. Carefully-curated indie book stores, high-end stationers, children’s shops and spice merchants sit alongside foodie havens offering up everything from Persian cuisine to ramen noodles, Greek bites to Italian standbys, iconic Danish dishes to elevated new-Californian fare and Michelin-honored tasting menus, to heritage grain sourdough loaves or Spanish cheeses, to small-batch, locally-roasted coffee, to speakeasy tiki cocktails and craft beer.

“Solvang’s rows of shops and wide array of dining options, form an indulgent holiday shopping scene during Julefest,” exclaimed Mayor Toussaint. “Why not start a new holiday tradition with the family and create memories that last a lifetime?”

Dog-friendly and ideal for kids, Solvang Julefest promotes family fun and adventure through traditional holiday-favorite activities, with the addition of more-adult, wine country entertainment. Bolstering this year’s late-night appeal, are plans to keep the holiday gift shopping opportunities flowing into the evening with extended hours at Solvang merchants; sips and nibbles in some of the town’s most popular retail spots for added shopping and strolling cheer; and live music and entertainment in select bars and wine tasting venues.

The preliminary schedule of this year’s Solvang Julefest events is listed below; further updates to the 2019 Julefest schedule and event announcements will be made over the course of the next month.

Solvang Julefest 2019 is produced by the City of Solvang ( in partnership with Northern California-based IDK Events ( Front-of-house Santa’s Little Helpers for the 2019 Solvang Julefest Christmas Drone Show, will be provided by Solvang Rotary (

All Solvang Julefest events are open to the public with either free or paid admission. More information is available at, with direct links to ticketing for the paid portions of the holiday happenings. Event updates will also be posted to the Solvang Julefest Instagram and Facebook accounts: @SolvangJulefest and

Questions, media requests for interviews and/or photos, may be directed to Anna Ferguson-Sparks, Stiletto Marketing, at 1.877.327.2656 or info [at] stilettomarketing [dot] com.

About the City of Solvang:
Known as the “Danish Capital of America”, the City of Solvang is located in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, California. Founded by a group of Danish-Americans in 1911 and later incorporated in 1985, Solvang is home to a number of bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in Southern California. Sleek, Scandinavian design meets Old World charm in Solvang’s numerous interior courtyards, cozy communal spaces and open-air venues, where vacation itineraries for all, unfold. The walkable town offers plentiful free parking options for locals and day-trippers, and nearly 20 lodging options for staycation-ers, weekenders and mid-week travelers, at all vacation budget levels. For more information, including lists of events and things to do, where to eat and drink, and hotels, visit

About IDK Events:
IDK Events is a California-based event production company with a penchant for creating memorable, seamless experiences on every scale. IDK Events was founded by President Scott Shuemake and Vice President of Production Jacob Dornan. Together with their team, Scott and Jacob focus their skills on four key areas: Festival Production, Parade Production, Registration for Exhibitors and Parade Contingents, and Neighborhood-Based Events. While known for larger-than-life occasions like The Annual San Francisco Pride Parade, Union Street Fair, and Formula-E events, the company executes smaller-scale operations as well. Wine walks, street fairs, and more community-based gatherings have all received the IDK treatment. Powered by more than a decade of experience, thousands of industry contacts, unrivaled vendor negotiation skills, and the innovative vision to create a lasting impression, as an LGBT-certified owned business, IDK Events came from humble beginnings with a now-global reach.

About Firefly Drone Shows:
Firefly Drone Shows is a premium provider of precisely-choreographed, 100% customizable drone light shows. A company known for creating immersive experiences and being the apex of events around the world, Firefly offers the latest in drone light show technology, operated by the most experienced pilots, and fully licensed by the FAA. Firefly’s team of professionals is thrilled to bring this illuminated experience to the City of Solvang for Julefest 2019. Visit to learn more.


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Anna Ferguson
Julefest Solvang
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