21st annual ‘Festival of Lights’

21st annual ‘Festival of Lights’

2010 – Pedestrian Mall

Each year, thousands of visitors gather in and around the Mission Inn and along the pedestrian mall in downtown Riverside for the ‘Festival of Lights,’ which includes approximately 4 million holiday lights and over 400 animated figures. What began in 1993 as a modest, hotel-only event has grown into one of the premier holiday lights displays in the country.

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 29 through January 4, 2014 (excepting Christmas).

2009 – Ice Rink

The day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29) is the official “Lighting Ceremony” — including a fireworks show — that takes place usually around 5 p.m. in front of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. (Be sure to arrive early for the opening night ceremony!)

As usual, free parking (street and garage) is available after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on the weekends and holidays (the exception is for the Nov. 29th Lighting Ceremony, where some parking is $5). Your best bet is within six parking garages:

2010 – Pedestrian Mall

You can also check out activity via two city webcams: Mission Inn | Skating Rink


Sources: City of Riverside, Mission Inn

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