2002 - Festival of Lights - Mission Inn (RXSQ)

Festival of Lights

It’s that time of year again when downtown Riverside’s historic Mission Inn is aglow with millions of holiday lights and hundreds of animated figures. Each year, the crowds get a little bit bigger and the lights a little bit brighter as visitors stroll the downtown pedestrian mall, the tiny shops and boutiques, and streets surrounding the Mission Inn hotel to view the colorful display.

For 13 years, the day after Thanksgiving has served as the Festival’s traditional lighting ceremony. Inn owner Duane Roberts estimates he’s spent in excess of $2 million dollars over the years in assembling and producing the yearly spectacle. And the proof is in the pudding as the Inn’s Festival of Lights has received accolades in a number of high-profile publications, including a photo in this year’s holiday section in People Magazine:

The lights display was mentioned in People magazine’s holiday entertaining guide, next to the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas display in New York, Roberts said to the crowd.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – November 26, 2005

The Festival also received mention as one of “America’s Best Holiday Lights” displays the past 2 years.

The Festival of Lights runs through Sunday, January 8, 2006.


  • Mission Inn – Festival of Lights
  • Riverside Press-Enterprise – Switching on the glitz (Nov. 26)

Sources: Riverside Press-Enterprise (PE-20051126), City of Riverside

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Removed outdated links to America’s Best Holiday Lights website and newspaper article.; updated link to Festival of Lights website in Related content.

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