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Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

Yucaipa, California
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Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

From RedlandsWeb.com, the following is information about this year's Festival of Lights at the Historic Mission Inn in Riverside.

Celebrate this year's holiday season in style at Riverside's nationally famous Festival of Lights, beginning at the Switch-On Ceremony on Friday, November 23 at 6:15 p.m., and continues daily through January 1, 2008. Free holiday entertainment, carriage rides, and ice skating from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily. Downtown parking is FREE weekdays after 5 p.m., as well as on weekends.

Stroll through Riverside's Historic Mission Inn's magnificent hotel and grounds - decorated to celebrate the season through January 1, 2008 - and enjoy beautiful displays of over two million lights. Angels, elves and carolers roam freely, making memories for everyone. Riverside's Festival of Lights has been featured in People Magazine and spotlighted .on the Travel Channel's show "Dazzling Holiday Lights." If you want to see the season sparkle, this is the place to be!

Entertainment includes the renowned Dickens Carolers (singing Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Jazz groups and local choirs are also scheduled to perform. Fine dining - with a variety of cuisines, combined with a great variety of street vendors, makes Riverside the place to be to experience the holiday spirit. You can even enjoy a romantic carriage ride around the extravagantly lit grounds!

Enjoy Rockefeller Center-style skating at Riverside's newly opened ice-skating rink. The rink will be open every day after that from 3 to 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Located on the Main Street Pedestrian Mall, between Mission Inn and University avenues, skating cost is $10 per hour and skate rentals are $3. Contact the City of Riverside for information on special group rental rates at specialevents@riversideca.gov.

While you are in Riverside, why not stay a night at the inn? Make it a "season's treating" for you and that special someone. Many special holiday room & spa packages are available, along with delicious cuisine of the Historic Mission Inn's award winning restaurants. Whether you visit the Inn for the evening, or stay over for a special occasion, your experience at the Mission Inn's Festival of Lights promises to be the highlight of your holiday season.

The Festival of Lights continues every evening, beginning at sunset, through January 1, 2007

Website: http://www.missioninn.com/fol-main.php

Restaurant Reservations : 888-326-4448

Room Reservations : 800-843-7755

Previous articles - 2005 Festival of Lights

Written by Margaret Rippetue - 11/17/07 RedFusion Media

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1. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

This is an excellent event!

The new website for the Festival of Lights is http://www.festivaloflightsca.com

Yucaipa, California
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2. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

Thanks! I checked the link and this really only has information about the packages that the Mission Inn offers.

Just to let everyone know, you don't need to stay at the Mission Inn or purchase a package in order to see the Festival of Lights. Just stop by and take a walk around the block! You can also go into the hotel, of course. Just an FYI, the event is so popular that the hotel needs to use a some controls inside during the busiest times. Therefore, visitors who are not staying at the Inn may not go up the stairs and there is sometimes a line to enter the Presidential Lounge. It is really worth it to stay for a drink or have something to eat.

riverside, ca
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3. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

This IS a good family event. Unfortunately, I went to the switch on, and really, was disappointed this year. No carolers, possibly due to last year's fiasco of a city worker stopping the singing of traditional holiday music so as not to offend an un-offended Jewish Olympian ice skater. There were no horse drawn buggies or trolleys with their jingle bells and clip-clopping. There were hardly any booths, just a few scattered popcorn stands and utility information tables. There was one music area set up at the corner of the library which was so-so. Overall, it had an eerie feeling of silence and hushed anticipation for the event to get going. Considering the city spent over an extra 100k this year than last, I'd really like to know where the money went.

It is a "ramping up" event to Christmas, but the switch on night fell flat. It is a beautiful evening walk, especially if you just had dinner and just want to walk a bit. With the streets blocked off you have room to move, just be aware of the fanagling you will have to do to get a parking spot.

The skating rink isn't bad, but is small-ish, and no, it is not anything as grand as Rockefeller Center, except that it is an ice skating rink

outdoors in Riverside(probably a feat in itself!).

I recommend this event because it is FREE(watch out for $8 parking, find a lot or side street), family oriented, and just darn pretty to look at.

Get a cup of coffee from The Coffee Bean or better yet from the local coffee bar Back to the Grind(on University) and stroll around, maybe wander into the shops, and see how going "all out" on the Christmas decor really looks great.

Yucaipa, California
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4. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

Well, I had no idea of any controversy last year. I was so happy to find the carolers there. Maybe that is the reason why I didn't see them the first time I went! I went again the weekend before Christmas and they were there and fabulous. I saw the group from the church that dresses in nice black suits and dresses. They have a good leader who invites everyone to sign along to traditional religious carols. I have never been able to see the carolers from the college that dress in Victorian dress, but am looking forward to it. I know that they will be there this year, as well has the carriages. I have the times if anyone is interested.

I don't know if parking is available at the library - across the street - this year due to a planned expansion, but I have always parked there with no problem and no expense. That is after hours, however. If this parking lot is open, take the time to go around it a few times. Someone may pull out.

I highly recommend going into the Mission Inn to have appetizers and drinks in the Presidential Lounge if the little jazz combo is there. Very nice Christmasy atmophere. They will take requests and play Christmas songs and are wonderful musicians. Watch for carolers in the lobby as well. There may be a wait to get into the Pres. Lounge.

Be aware that because of the popularity of the Festival of Lights, visitors may only use the hotel restrooms if eating or staying at the Mission Inn.

The Mission Inn's Festival of Lights was recently featured on the Good Morning America show.

Burbank, CA
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5. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

I was wondering if the lights are on during the daytime? Would it be better to see them at night?

I am travelling with 3 young kids and my parents (Possibly my sister's family with 2 kids as well.)

So the daytime is better for all of us, young and old.

Any suggestions on where to park or other places to stay? Then we might be able to see the lights at night.

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6. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

Wow. I am glad now we went Saturday night instead of opening night....we had a great time with the lights, carolers, horse carraige ride, ice skating, and dinner. Sorry to hear that opening night was not as fun this year....but we thought the lights Saturday were quite impressive.

In terms of the day versus night...

Night of course is impressive with the lights....

hwoever there are so many character scenes, trees, etc. around the property, it is fun to go whenever you woould like to. BOth day and evening are delightful and children really enjoyed the place.

From my dinner table, I watched as all the kids came by and "interacted" with the Christmas scene right outside the door. Lots of fun to watch...and I am sure your children will delight in it as well.

Marry Christmas to all....and do go one day or night...its well worth it.

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7. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

ps: There are parking garages nearby or if mobility is a concern, they do have valet parking and you can get out right at the front entrance way.

Yucaipa, California
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8. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

The best place to park is the library right next door (on the east side), which will not cost a thing, however you cannot park there during the day because the parking is only for library patrons and staff at that time. (Even up to 8 p.m. on some nights.)

I was there on Friday (Dec 14th) and then again last night for a little while. I could not get a space in the library lot on Friday since it is the most popular lot, but driving around looking for a space was actually kind of fun since I drove past some carriages and some kids waved and said Merry Christmas. I parked in a shopping center to the east of the Mission Inn and east of the library. It was about a two block walk, but a good view all the way. The center is more like a business center than a shopping center. Parking is restricted, but not enforced.

I would say it would be much more impressive in the night, but getting there in the day and seeing the elf displays and watching people skate, etc., would take you into the evening quite nicely. So I would suggest staying to see the lights as the come on and then leaving. I don't know when they turn the lights on, but it could be as early as twilight.

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9. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

Oh, by the way, at the top of that business/shopping center is a restaurant. I can't remember the name of it. Maybe it is more affordable or easier to get into than the Mission Inn restaurants. (However, I love the food at the Mission Inn).

If anyone knows when the carolers from the church show up please post. I did get to see the Victorian carolers, but I am most interested in seeing the church members - who always dress in black suits and dresses- perform.

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10. Re: Historic Mission Inn 2007 Festival of Lights

2Plus3,

I just noticed you asked about other places to stay.

Here is the hotel listings and rankings for Riverside on Trip Advisor.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g32978-Riverside_Cali…

The Riverside Marriot would be the closest and the #2 ranked after the Mission Inn.

I can also suggest the Hampton Inn in Colton, which is about a 15 to 20 min. freeway drive north, with an average rate of $109 a night. This is the town that I live in and I have stopped into the Hampton a couple of times to use their business services. Their lobby is charming and comfortable. They sometimes have fresh cookies at the front desk that are complimentary. I am pretty sure they have complimentary continental breakfast for guests. They have a small kitchen/eating area off of the lobby. I don't know anything about what the rooms are like except that a couple of years ago it received a major refurb before reopening as the Hampton. The views from the windows may not be the best. Lumber yard on the north side (not really noisy) and freeway to the southside. A small pool with a few rooms above. Within the same parking lot is a Subway Sub, a Mexican restaurant, a Bob's Big Boy, and a Chinese Restaurant. Burger King across the street, as is the freeway entrance to 10 freeway east and easy connection to the 215 south to get to the Mission Inn (off ramp coming to the hotel is on the same street). There is a Stater Bros. across from the hotel as well and a McDonald's down the street. The City of Colton has added some light displays in the last 2 years, so if you decided to stay here you would see the park lit up as well as our Carnegie Library and a large tree in front of our City Hall.