For the first time in more than 50 years, Riverside will have a float in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses Parade.
The float will commemorate the 25th anniversary of Riverside’s Festival of Lights, which draws about 500,000 people to downtown every year, starting the day after Thanksgiving and ending in early January, according to a statement on the city’s website.
The float, which will cost about $275,000, is also meant to acknowledge Duane & Kelly Roberts, owners of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and the creators of the Festival of Lights.
A group of community leaders will raise the money needed to build the float and pay for other expenses. The Greater Riverside Chamber Foundation, a non-profit, will be in charge of the fundraising effort.
“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 Rusty Bailey said in the statement.
“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.”
The 2018 Rose Parade’s theme is “Making a Difference.” More than 700,000 people attend the Rose Parade every year, and an estimated 73 million people worldwide watch it on television, according to the statement.