Ten professional Lego builders will take to their blocks Saturday for Solvang's inaugural Lego Building Competition, where each will be tasked with constructing their own creative take on one of Solvang's five "storybook" Danish bakeries — using nothing but plastic bricks. 

The block-building competition, which is free and open to the public, kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs through 4 p.m. 

Judging will take place at noon Sunday at the Solvang Visitor Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive, followed by an awards ceremony at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top three builders in the competition. 

During the event, visitors are invited to stop by competitor project tents — located in different points throughout downtown Solvang — to witness the builders' works in progress.

So far, featured builders announced include: Zack Macasaet, a professional block-builder featured on Season 2 of the FOX competition series "Lego Masters"; Bill Vollbrecht, a former master model designer and Legoland parks designer; Mariann Asanuma, the world’s first female freelance Lego artist and former master model designer at Legoland California. Gwyneth Kozbial, a writer for BrickNerd, will join the group, as will Chris Wight. Wight's Lego craftwork was featured in projects for the Los Angeles Auto Show and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he constructed an oversized model of the hospital's neurology wing.

Lego artist Allyson Gail, who is responsible for assembling the competition participants, will serve as one of the weekend’s judges, an event spokeswoman said.

The event is a nod to Solvang's Danish heritage as well as the origin of the Lego brand, according to Scott Shuemake, executive producer with Cogs & Marvel, event planners and organizers.

“Solvang’s Danish roots and authentic heritage seemed the perfect fit for this family-oriented spring event, celebrating one of Denmark’s most famous exports," Shuemake said.

The world-famous building blocks was launched in 1932 by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, who initially produced stackable wooden bricks for children. He named the company Lego, which is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt” that mean “play well.”

"We’re thrilled to have some of the top Lego block builders in the nation joining us for this fun Danish tribute, and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors to this first-ever event,” Shuemake said.

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.

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