Riverside's Mission Inn kicks off 24th annual 'Festival of Lights'

Fireworks kicked off one of the grandest holiday light displays in the country. The 24th annual Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn in Riverside.

Owners Duane and Kelly Roberts have been decorating the inn for 24 years using their own money so the event is free to the public.

With 4.5 million twinkling lights and more than four hundred animated characters. Visitors can immerse themselves in the holiday spirit. "I think it's beautiful... I think it glorifies Christmas and makes everyone realize what Christmas is all about." said Jackie Lawrence, who came from Costa Mesa to see the lights.

The halls are decked... The tree is trimmed... But this festival wouldn't be complete without gingerbread houses and the big man in red.

Hotel staff have been busy putting up the lights since august. The owners have sponsored the festival since 1992 as a way to give back to the community and the city which saved the inn from demolition.

A charitable deed for a community of all ages to enjoy the holiday splendor of this historic landmark.

The festival runs through January 7th in downtown Riverside.