Thursday, December 3, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 40

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on November 19th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 38 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 38

The Book Loft in Solvang celebrates its 50th anniversary with an eventful weekend


On Friday, Nov. 20, Solvang City Councilmember Robert Clarke will present a unique, commemorative banner to local bookstore owner Kathy Mullins, who co-founded The Book Loft in 1970 with her late husband, Gary. In celebrating the shop’s 50th year in business, Book Loft lovers and the public are invited  to a weekend of special events, all of which follow COVID-19 safety protocols. 

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The Book Loft is located at 1680 Mission Drive, Solvang. Call (805) 688-6010 or visit for more info.

In celebrating its 50th year in business, the Book Loft in Solvang is inviting the public to a weekend of special events in its outdoor courtyard, all of which follow COVID-19 safety protocols.

After Clarke’s 4 p.m. presentation, the celebration kicks off Friday evening in the Book Loft’s outdoor courtyard, from 4:30 to 5 p.m., with live music from students enrolled in Solvang’s Song in My Heart Studio.

The following morning, at 10 a.m., the shop will unveil a special Book Loft-themed gingerbread house, created by the Solvang Bakery. Throughout the day, the store will offer special discounts on books and other merchandise, and guests will be able to browse through a historical exhibition that explores the Book Loft’s history over the past five decades.

“We’ll have a display of past articles about the bookstore, including when the building itself was built, some bookmarks from the past 50 years that the store gave out, photos, and book signing notices—some with well-known authors,” Dawn LeFever, the Book Loft’s marketing representative, told the Sun. “We’ll also have a guestbook for people to sign and add their memories of The Book Loft or what it means to them.”

Kathy Mullins (pictured) co-founded The Book Loft in 1970 with her late husband, Gary. On Friday, Nov. 20, Solvang City Councilmember Robert Clarke will present her with a celebratory banner, in honor of the store’s 50th anniversary.

Although the planning for the Book Loft’s 50th anniversary celebration started long before the COVID-19 closures began in March, the store was able to adapt the proposed events accordingly, LeFever explained.

“We had started to discuss what we might do last year, before the pandemic shut things down. So when it started to open back up, it was mostly a struggle of finding our footing again to get back to the plan,” LeFever said. “We are utilizing our outdoor courtyard, as small as it is, much more than we probably would have otherwise. But we don’t necessarily feel like we’ve had to give too much up because of the restrictions.”

Face masks will be required during each of the celebration’s events, which also include two family-friendly meet-and-greets and photo opportunities with two beloved Hans Christian Andersen characters, the Little Mermaid (Saturday, Nov. 21, from 1 to 2 p.m.) and the Snow Queen (Sunday, Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to noon). 

The Book Loft is currently open daily for in-store browsing and shopping with restrictions (call or visit the store’s site for operating hours and details).

The shop will also host a special, commemorative bookmark crafting workshop on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 2 to 3 p.m. Each event is outdoors in the aforementioned courtyard with space to accommodate social distancing. 

The celebratory events will highlight the Book Loft’s enduring connection to the Solvang community, between different generations of locals and among visitors who find themselves returning over the years, LeFever explained.

“We have locals that came to the store as children and now return with their own children,” LeFever said. “We have people who make annual treks to the area that make a point to always stop in the store. We have celebrities who visit and travelers from all over the world. It’s actually really fun how people from so many different paths all come to our doors.”

Send book suggestions to Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood at

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