lights display was mentioned in People magazine's holiday
entertaining guide, next to the famous Rockefeller Center
Christmas display in New York, Roberts said to the crowd.
Danette and Chris Avella, of Moreno Valley, have seen the
lights festival grow from a hometown event to a national holiday
attraction. The couple used to come out on dates and share
a kiss once the lights came on. Now the pair navigates the
large crowds with their two small children.
a sign of how much Riverside is growing, but it still manages
to have that home-like feeling," said Danette Avella, 30.
Overseeing the 2-½-month-long decorating process was
Isabelle Kaminsky, a 58-year-old business owner and grandmother
of seven, who lets no detail go unnoticed.
Less than a minute after stepping onto Orange Avenue during
a break earlier this week, Kaminsky peered up and noticed
something awry with one of the animated figures.
like his neck is broken!" she yelled at one of her 20 workers
setting up decorations on a boom lift.
Kaminsky, owner of Tustin-based For All Seasons, has decorated
shopping malls and corporate headquarters, but nothing is
as involved as decorating the Mission Inn, she said.
Kaminsky, who worked 12-hour shifts to get it finished, started
decorating the interior of the hotel six years ago. Then three
years ago, it expanded to the outside.
As soon as she laid eyes on the hotel for the first time,
her mind started to race.
my goodness, I look at it like a giant blank canvas. I want
to do this here. I want this color here."
Each side of the Inn has a different theme. The Orange Avenue
side, for instance, has a musical theme with carolers and
The Sixth Street side features children with candy canes and
Kaminsky said she tried to use only "upscale, elegant" decorations
to avoid creating a Coney Island amusement park atmosphere.
After years of decorating the Inn, decorating her own home
must be a piece of cake, right?
She hasn't decorated her home since she started doing the
Mission Inn. She's too exhausted, she says.
Not only that.
close my eyes and see twinkling lights," she said.
Douglas Quan at (951) 368-9479 or