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Mission Inn Tree Lighting Ceremony, Riverside, CA

dana point...
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Mission Inn Tree Lighting Ceremony, Riverside, CA

Has anyone been to the Mission Inn in Riverside for the first night of the tree lighting ceremony. We are thinking of going, and are wondering if anyone has any tips on where to park, etc.,, maybe an inexpensive restaurant so we can park, eat and then watch the lighting ceremony.

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San Diego...
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1. Re: Mission Inn Tree Lighting Ceremony, Riverside, CA

Yes, I've been there once for the lighting. It was very crowded so you will either have to get there hours early, or else park a few blocks away. As I recall it's on the Friday after Thanksgiving, about 6 pm. The mayor announces it, then they turn on all the lights. Apparently they now have a fireworks display at that time too, though they didn't have fireworks the year we went to it.

The lights are all over the building and surrounding trees and plants. Every balcony has a scene of illuminated characters, many of which move. It's a remarkable sight. You can walk into the hotel and the courtyard for additional lights. I don't know, really, how much there is to be gained by being there at the moment they turn it all on. You still have to walk around to see it all. I believe they keep it on every night through January 5th. So you can go to any night between Nov. 23 and Jan. 5th.

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2. Re: Mission Inn Tree Lighting Ceremony, Riverside, CA

I've been for the last few years and plan on going this year...it's awesome! The lighting is great, with fireworks and everything!

We usually get there about 3 hrs early and park in the parking structure off of Orange and 9th. Then we walk through the festival of trees to kill time, have some drinks at one of the many bars/restaurants at the Inn or around it and then get ourselves a place on the street right in front of the Mission. There's tons of people, so you have to stake your claim :)

Then we usually walk down to The Salted Pig for dinner after.

Most of the hotel restaurants will have a 2-3 hr wait. You may be able to make reservations, but it's unlikely.

It's worth all the chaos to us...a tradition :)

Hope you enjoy it if you come out!


LOVE with FLARE Photography


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