The Festival of light is once more entertaining thousands from around the world. Riverside’s Mission Inn rang in the holidays on November 24th when it kicked off the 25th annual festival of lights celebration. For six weeks, the extravaganza will light the Mission Inn with one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections of its kind.
The beautiful display was recently named “Best Public Lights Display in the Nation” by USA Today. This year the attraction is expected to attract over half a million visitors from around the world. They come to see the spectacular event which features 200 animated holiday figures with some 5 million holiday lights.
Along with the decorations and light, the entire area follows up with holiday offerings. Horse-drawn carriages take riders on leisurely rides through the streets which are all strung with holiday lights.
In recent years, the popularity of the Festival of Lights has soared and has been mentioned on national media sources such as Good Morning America, and USA Today which have highlighted the event. But as with most popular events, things can get crowded and there are better times to go than others.
Going early and in the middle of the week will help you avoid most of the crowds. On the other side of the coin, if you don’t have kids it might be a good idea to go later on a weeknight when some of the crowds have cleared out.
There are many things to do there such as train rides for the kids, or just take a stroll and enjoy the lights and some holiday music. The event will be open from Saturday, Nov 25 through Saturday, Dec. 23, the hours are 5-10PM Monday through Thursday and 5-11PM Friday, 3-11PM Saturday and 3-10PM on Sunday. On Sunday, Dec 24, the hours are 3-9PM and from Monday, Dec. 25 through Saturday, Jan 6, hours are 3PM to midnight.
So, if you get a chance, take a ride over to Riverside and see one of the nations most celebrated traditions.