Following four weeks of voting by thousands of voters across the nation, The AAA Four Diamond, Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa has been recognized as the country’s Best Public Lights Display in USA TODAY’s 10Best.com Readers’ Choice poll.
A Southern California tradition now celebrating its 22nd year, Festival of Lights at The Historic Mission Inn is an annual gift to the community from property Owners Duane and Kelly Roberts who saved the historic landmark in 1992. Each year, The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights begins with the Switch On Ceremony – a spectacular event in which the castle-like hotel is instantly illuminated with more than 4 million holiday lights followed by a full fireworks display. Eager holiday visitors have through January 6, 2015 to visit the Festival of Lights at The Historic Mission Inn and see the historic hotel transformed into a true winter wonderland.
Featuring 400 animatronic characters, appearances by Santa Claus, the world’s largest manmade mistletoe measuring 12′ x 8′, elf tuck-ins, horse-drawn carriage rides, fresh snow, an elaborately decorated Christmas tree in the hotel’s lobby and delectable holiday confections at the original famous Casey’s Cupcakes located at The Inn, the merriment at The Mission Inn is a not-to-be-missed experience.
“The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights brings together families from all over Southern California for a wonderful holiday experience,” said Chief Operating Officer Kelly Roberts. “Duane and I are pleased that this accolade is helping people from around the United States get a glimpse of an amazing event that Riversiders have been enjoying for years.”
The only California public lights display on the ballot of 20 nominees, the Festival of Lights at The Historic Mission Inn received top ranks from readers and was promoted as the winner of the poll in a Friday edition of USA TODAY and on usatoday.com/travel. The readers’ poll was hosted on 10Best.com, a standalone travel media site, but promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products as well as via social media and across the websites of 81 local newspapers and 43 television stations.
“USA TODAY is thrilled to have this method of sharing what 10Best and USA TODAY readers and users love most,” said John Peters, president of USA TODAY Travel Media Group. “Our readers are well-informed, well-traveled and opinionated. A destination, organization or business which finds itself the recipient of a 10Best Readers’ Choice Award has really accomplished something.”
The City of Riverside has adopted Festival of Lights at The Historic Mission Inn as a citywide initiative with a vision of a Dickensian holiday spectacle featuring lights and decorations throughout downtown Riverside, an outdoor ice-skating rink on the Main Street pedestrian mall, holiday vendors and family-friendly entertainment.
About The AAA Four Diamond, Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
Originally opened in 1903, The Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa incorporates design elements from throughout the southwestern United States, Mexico and several Mediterranean countries. A AAA Four Diamond property, the hotel features 238 guest rooms, including 27 suites, and four restaurants: Duane’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant since 1996; Bella Trattoria Italian Bistro; Las Campanas Mexican Cuisine & Cantina; and The Mission Inn Restaurant and Spanish Patio. The Mission Inn also features 54° at Duane’s, Casey’s Cupcakes and The Presidential Lounge.
In addition, the hotel offers a serene swimming pool and Jacuzzi surrounded by lush gardens; a fitness center; a historic museum; access to championship golf, shopping and Kelly’s Spa, a luxurious Tuscan-inspired spa founded by visionary Kelly Roberts who also serves as COO of The Mission Inn, a National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Hotels of America. The hotel is situated on an entire city block of the quaint Mission Inn District of Riverside, Calif., which was recently listed as No. 8 on Forbes’ list of ‘America’s Coolest Cities.’ For more information or reservations please call 1-800-843-7755 or visit www.missioninn.com. Follow the Festival of Lights at The Historic Mission Inn on Facebook and tag your photos with #MissionInnFOL to share.