The 19th Annual Festival of Lights is set to begin Friday afternoon (Nov. 25) in downtown Riverside, with the official “switch-on” ceremony & fireworks taking place just after 5:00 p.m. in front of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. (Be sure to arrive early for the opening night ceremony!)
Each year, thousands of visitors gather in and around the Mission Inn and along the downtown pedestrian mall for the daily festivities, which includes 3.6 million holiday lights, 400 animated figures — one of the country’s largest holiday displays.
Roving carolers, carriage rides, an ice rink, live entertainment, shopping, dining and — of course — photos with Santa round out the festivities.
This year’s Festival runs daily from November 25 through January 8, 2012 (excepting Christmas).
As usual, free parking (street and garage) is available after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on the weekends and holidays. Your best bet is within five parking garages:
- Two identical Orange Street garages: near Mission Inn | near University
- Two Ninth Street garages: at Orange | at Market
- One Market Street garage: between University and Mission Inn