Riverside returns to the Rose Parade
By George Paul
After more than half a century, Riverside will once again have a float entry in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
The display will simultaneously honor the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and the historic property’s owners, Duane and Kelly Roberts. Funding was raised privately, with more 60 local businesses and organizations contributing.
Al Zelinka, assistant city manager, said having a float “certainly is a point of community pride,” and also stressed the importance of Riverside’s “ability to tell its story and have the world get a glimpse” into the city’s assets.
“Mr. Roberts revived the heart and soul of downtown,” said Stan Kantowski, the Mission Inn’s vice president and general manager. “Representing Riverside as a float and an iconic place for the city is a privilege. The ownership is very grateful for the recognition.”
During the Festival of Lights, visitors may donate “Making a Difference” flower vials to be placed on the float amid the familiar Raincross symbol and architectural features.
“Now is the right time for the float to be presented to the world,” Zelinka said. “We are at such a wonderful point in our history and it’s time to tell our story.”
Volunteer float decorator sign-ups and more information: www.riversideca.gov