The lights will go out tonight on the annual holiday light festival in downtown Riverside that began the day after Thanksgiving.
The 19th annual Festival of Lights hosted by the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa will come to an end between midnight and 5 a.m.
The celebration, which was extended an extra week this Christmas season, has featured more than 3.6 million twinkling lights glowing around the hotel and along the city’s Main Street pedestrian mall, with decorations arranged throughout the walkway, which traverses Mission Inn and University avenues, stopping at Riverside City Hall.
The festival, which has been recognized as one of the most impressive holiday light displays in the country, drew more than 250,000 visitors in 2010.
Organizers are still crunching the approximate number of visitors to the plaza over the last six weeks.
The city appropriated $389,000 for this year’s festival, with some of the funds paying for a 45- by 90-foot ice skating rink set up on Main Street,
at University Avenue.
Some 400 animated characters, including elves, toy soldiers, nutcrackers and angels, have been on display around the perimeter of the century-old inn.
Santa Claus and his helpers were regularly seen greeting visitors, who were also treated to horse-drawn carriage rides and carolers through Christmas.