City Makes Plans for Holiday Celebration

At a City Council Liaison Joint Special Meeting of the Rodeo Drive Committee/Special Events/Holiday Program Committee on Aug. 1, plans were discussed for the city’s winter holiday decorations. Teresa Revis, the associate project manager, asked Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse and Councilmember Lester Friedman, the committee liaisons, for input on proposed new decorations and approval to replace certain elements from previous years. The city has invested in expansive decorations and public exhibits in past years in the interest of entertaining residents and attracting visitors to Beverly Hills. No additional funding was requested from the city, as all funding requested is included in the year-round decor and holiday decorations budget of $3.54 million.


One important difference between holiday decoration plans from 2021 and those for 2022 is that this year, Hanukkah will overlap with Christmas. Hanukkah decoration elements were separated from those for Christmas in 2021 but this year, Hanukkah will begin on Dec. 18 and end on Dec. 26. As a result, Revis recommended that elements for the separate holidays be incorporated together.


Two key elements of winter holiday decorations from previous years are the Beverly Gardens Park Hanukkah menorah statue and 14-foot Christmas tree. The tree is no longer working and the menorah statue’s base needs to be replaced as it was not designed to be climbed on, which many visitors have done while taking photos with it. Liaisons agreed to replace both decorations, which will cost a total of about $36,000.


The audio system that played music along major streets in the city experienced serious malfunctions last year. As a result, technicians were called on a weekly basis. Consultants now advise that the system is past its lifespan and will not be reliable this season. Liaisons approved replacing the system at an estimated $90,000.


With the sidewalk improvement project on Robertson Boulevard set to continue into the fall, Revis recommended that colored lights replace the canopy décor on trees from previous years. This would save an estimated $50,000 and allow construction to proceed with minimal disruption. The liaisons also approved a request to replace bows and faux tree garlands that decorate parts of Dayton Drive, Brighton Way and S. Santa Monica Boulevard. The garlands were initially purchased in 2016, and the new replacements should last another five years.


In addition to the discussion about decorations that need to be replaced, Revis requested feedback from liaisons on new decoration proposals for winter 2022. They elected to have a light sculpture exhibit at Beverly Canon Gardens and a light show to be projected onto Beverly Hills City Hall. The show will run from Nov. 17 to Jan. 1 and will end nightly no later than 10 p.m.


The committee will meet again on Aug. 14 to get updates on some details requested about the decoration plans and to hear a presentation from the Rodeo Drive Committee on the Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration that is tentatively set for Nov. 17.