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8 Riverside County Festivals To Check Out
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8 Riverside County Festivals To Check Out

Discover this charming county and, even possibly the world, with these annual Riverside County festivals.

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5 min read

August 09, 2022

Shirley DeHart is a compassionate and humble realtor specializing in selling homes in Riverside’s Sycamore Highlands neighborhood. She is a member of the California.com Recommended Business Program.

Disclaimer: California.com does not receive any kind of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

Riverside County is always buzzing with exciting events and things to discover. Riverside is one of the largest cities in Los Angeles, and it contains more than just entertainment and fun. Along with the history and stunning Southern California architecture, the festivals that take place in Riverside County are definitely something you should experience. Riverside festivals are unique and undoubtedly among the most fun events in the state.

1. Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Festival of Lights

Watch the lights at the Mission Hotel shine on.

Admission fee: Free of charge
When: November - January

Created by the owners of the inn, Kelly and Duane Roberts, this annual tradition commenced in 1992 as a way to give back to the community. Held at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, the Riverside Festival of Lights is one of the most significant events in the region. It is also part of the nation’s largest holiday light collections, perfectly exuding that holiday spirit and excitement. The Riverside Festival of Lights attracts thousands of people each year and brings everyone together under the twinkling light displays. No wonder it was voted “Best Public Lights Display” by USA Today. Do not miss out on one of California’s top December festivals you will come across.

2. Ghost Walk Riverside

Summon your inner child and go on a spooky walk at the Ghost Walk Riverside festival.

Admission fee: $15 general admission, $21 VIP tickets
When: October

Are you up for some spooky vibes? Then take it up a notch this Halloweed season with Ghost Walk Riverside. This event takes place in downtown Riverside and is community-oriented, which is why it feels like a giant outdoor block party. You can take tours at different levels of spooky (G, PG, and PG13) and witness local talent, including high school students, performing various numbers, creepy storytelling, and tricks. This riverside festival happens in October, so mark your calendars because there only so many thrilling Halloween festivals you can fit in one month!

3. Annual Riverside Tamale Festival

Take a bite of the deliciously enticing Tamale during this festival.

Admission fee: $20 general admission, $100 VIP Tamale Festival Experience
When: September

The Riverside Tamale Festival is a celebration of family, food, music, and art. The festivities are an effort to restore and revitalize the Trujillo Adobe and La Placita. Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, the Tamale festival allows you to enjoy the live music of regional bands, art displays and exhibits, lots of children’s activities, and, of course, the star of the show - tamales. This Riverside festival is rather meaningful; by attending you will also be helping the Spanish Town Heritage Foundation preserve the Trujillo Mansion, one of the oldest structures in the region and a historic landmark too. Admission for children under 12 is free of charge! Bring the whole family together and immerse yourself in the many activities and festivities of the Annual Riverside Tamales Festival.

4. Riverside Greek Fest

Good food, great company, and unmatched vibes await you at the Riverside Greek Fest.

Admission fee: Free of charge
When: July - August

While it is quite uncommon to associate a big city like Riverside with a Greek village, the Riverside Greek Fest will transport you all the way to Greece. With the delicious smell of souvlakis, gyros, and other loved dishes roaming the streets with you, this one-day festival located on Canyon Crest Drive is definitely worth the hype. Get a taste of the Mediterranean as you go on tours, relax, and learn about the lifestyle of olden times. It's an easy and magical ticket to being transported away to a different continent with traditional folk music, dances, and more.

5. Koroneburg Old World Festival 

Renaissance festivals are quite the sight, so make sure to partake in one yourself!

Admission fee: $25 for adults, $15 for children (ages 5-11), free for children under 5, and $15 for seniors (aged 65 and above)
When: June

Enter the world of the Koroneburg Old World Festival, the likes of which you’ve never experienced before. This is the only permanent renaissance festival in California, where you can sit down at themed restaurants, savor fine dining, and take part in various activities. The Koroneburg Old World Festival is not an English festival, but an Old World European festival. Once you enter the gates, you will be transported to the fictitious world of Baron Von Lauffer, and become part of the village.

There is also a shop you can pass by that will have you spoiled for choice with all the things they have offered. From henna tattoos, to recycled and repurposed articles of clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, and so much more.

6. Riverside Lunar Festival 

New Year is a celebration of new beginnings. Head to the Riverside Lunar Festival for an awesome beginning to your year!

Admission fee: Free of charge
When: January

Presented by Panana Events with added support from the City of Riverside, the Riverside Lunar Festival is one of the best festivals to attend in the region. It's a celebration of Asian American culture adorned with beautiful red lanterns, lion dancing, and good vibes. Every year the festival celebrates one of the 12 Chinese zodiacs and serves up unique events and themes around it to its visitors. With lively performances that include traditional Chinese dances and martial arts demonstrations, this Riverside festival is ideal for a family outing.

It is also recommended that you attend this festival on an empty stomach because food is the central part of any Lunar New Year celebration. Delicious drinks and mouth-watering dishes like dumplings, steamed buns, grilled squids, and more await! The Riverside Lunar Festival is definitely one of the best January events in California.

7. Southern California Fair 

Southern California Fair is one of the best festivals to attend in Riverside County, maybe even all of California.

Admission fee: $10 for adults, $8 for children and seniors, and free for children under 4
When: October

Southern California is home to some of the most fun and exciting things to do; this includes fairs and festivals. If you are in Riverside County during the month of October, the Southern California Fair is an event you definitely should check out! Try out the many attractions available at this Riverside festival; one of them being the famous Lake Perris Ferris wheel. Relax at The Derby Room while having breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. Once you step outside you will be met with endless amounts of activities, such as Apex Kart racing, live music, and a number of exciting games. The friendly and laid-back atmosphere of the Southern California Fair is sure to reel you in, and you might just want to come back the following year!

8. Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival

A day spent at the Riverside County Fair will bring all the family together.

Admission fee: $11 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $9 for youth
When: February

The Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is also an event many look forward to every year. Currently overcoming a few setbacks, it is set to return with a bang in 2023 as a full-scale event. The location of this Riverside festival adds to the wonders of the events, as the views and scenery surrounding the festival will entice anyone attending. Head over to Indio, 130 miles east of Los Angeles to this oasis located in the vast California Desert. The annual celebrations started as a tribute to the end-of-year harvest that happens annually in the region. Lose yourself in the festivities of the annual fair and walk out with unforgettable memories.



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