Riverside Festivals

I  had my heart set to have a great time at this year’s Dickens Festival.

But it was not meant to be.

This latest winter storm caught a lot of us in Southern California by surprise dumping hail in Riverside and its surrounding areas.

I had so looked forward to seeing Christopher “Rusty” Yates there again this year.

On the left is a picture of him using the extra hands from a member of his audience.

I took that last year with my 80-200mm zoom when he was on the stage.

He was such a riot to watch. And the crowd absolutely loved his act.

If you’re a photographer and you love being around people, there’s no better place than one of these festivals where folks dress up in period costumes .

They love having their pictures taken.

Most go out of their way to get their costumes and even delight in dancing to the live music.

The Ballet Folklorico Mexico del Sur de California performed to music by Los Californios.

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The recent Festa Italiana held at Riverside’s White Park is another local festival worthy of a visit.

The cuisine, the music and the laid back atmosphere allowed families with children to feel very at ease.

In contrast, the huge Orange Blossom festival became so commercialized, some Riversiders actually avoided the downtown area when it became so big.

In its infancy that festival did well and was well received. Then I think it became just too big.

When it got to the point they were charging for parking downtown, the feel of a community festival was lost.

A few years back, there was another festival called the Multicultural Youth festival which was held along the downtown pedestrian mall.

That, in my opinion, was very organized and actually celebrated diversity in our community and country.

I hope the city elders work to bring that festival back. It was uplifting, educational and very entertaining.

I love local wholesome festivals like these because I don’t have to drive far with my young family.

Even if there were a price for admission, I would take my family to show my support.

Those of you reading this who are local do you have any opinion of our festivals?