Out & About – 12/19/2009

Festive decorations at every corner during downtown Riverside’s yearly ‘Festival of Lights’

Slideshow: Out & About

On Saturday evening, we spent a couple hours browsing and shopping during the annual ‘Festival of Lights’ in downtown Riverside, snapping a few photos — and finding a few nice surprises along the way.
First, it was great to once again see the storefront windowsdecorated and lit up for the holidays — for the long-shuttered Westbrook’s / Imperial Hardware building. We’re hoping the windows remain on display following the holidays (possibly for historical/museum displays … ?).
Second, the newly opened 3rd floor for Mission Galleria offered sweeping views of the pedestrian mall below.
And finally, it was nice to see fresh art sculptures (one | two) along the pedestrian mall near UCR/California Museum of Photography.
We found the newly refurbished pedestrian mall to work quite well with the large crowds, particularly alongside the Mission Inn. The new layout allowed for a larger ice rink and a larger events stage.
The Festival of Lights includes an ice rink, carriage rides, carolers, shopping, food, entertainment — and Santa Claus. Oh, and of course, the centerpiece is the historic Mission Inn decorated with over 3.5 million lights and hundreds of animated displays.
The event runs daily (excepting Christmas) through January 3.
Slideshow: Out & About

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