Festival of Lights
Each year thousands of people gather in the beautiful City of Riverside on Mission Inn Avenue the day after Thanksgiving to welcome the Christmas season by watching the amazing lighting of The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa. This 16th annual Festival of Lights “switch on” ceremony begins after nightfall and features welcoming remarks from Mayor Ron Loveridge, as well as Keeper of the Inn, Duane Roberts, and even Santa Clause.
With a collective countdown, the festivities begin and the sky becomes alight with fireworks as powerful holiday music plays in sync. At the culmination of the fireworks display, all three million lights and hundreds of figurines on the Mission Inn come to life and illuminate the streets of Downtown Riverside. To make sure all of Riverside can enjoy this amazing site, The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa remains lit nightly into the first week of January.
The festivities extend to the adjacent Main Street Pedestrian Mall where horse-drawn carriages and carolers stroll amongst one-of-a-kind shops, and even an ice skating rink. This event, which began as a modest hotel-only event in 1993, has since grown into one of the premier holiday lights displays in the country, and has even been featured in People Magazine.