By Heather Froglear

This is exciting news for the city of Riverside and the Inland Empire!  For the first time since 1951, Riverside will be participating in the 2018 Rose Parade with a float!

The float will honor of the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Lights in downtown Riverside.

The floats theme will be called “Making A Difference” and will honor Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, and the creators of the Festival of Lights.

What started as a way to commemorate the 25th Anniversary and say thanks to the Roberts family, will now be the first Rose Parade float the city has had since 1951.

The float will be funded through private donations and will cost approximately $275,000.

In a press release from the City of Riverside, Mayor Rusty Bailey said, “Our historic downtown is seeing record levels of investment, and Duane and Kelly Roberts’ leadership in ensuring the Mission Inn is a world-class hotel has been the catalyst for much of this success.”

Mayor Bailey added, “They took another bold step in creating the Festival of Lights, which is now an internationally renowned event that has drawn millions of tourists to our city and provided joy to countless families.”

If you’ve never been to the Festival of Lights, you must. USA Today readers named the event the Best Public Lights Display in 2014 and the Best Holiday Festival in 2015.

The Festival of Lights runs for 6 weeks beginning at the end of November.

The Rose Parade is a New Years Day tradition worldwide.  Over 73 million people tune into it on TV, and almost a quarter million people attend the parade in Pasadena.

Details on how you can get involved in decorating the float will come at a later date.

To make a donation, send to:  Greater Riverside Chamber Foundation, 3985 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501.

Donations are tax deductible.




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