The City of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee have announced that the annual Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration will return on Nov. 17. This year’s theme is “Beverly Hills Express,” centered around a glittering-red stationary train engine and caboose that will be on display from Wilshire Drive to Santa Monica Boulevard. The city is preparing for thousands to attend and help kick off the holiday season.
Aside from the locomotive that will be stacked high with ornaments and wrapped gifts, Rodeo Drive will be decorated and equipped with several other festive attractions. Sixteen-time Grammy award-winning musician, songwriter and producer David Foster and acclaimed singer, television and Broadway star Katharine McPhee will be performing new and classic tunes as part of the celebration. In addition to Foster and McPhee, there will be three performance stages spread along the street, where attendees can stop to enjoy some music and dance. Performers will not be limited to the stage and will be seen dancing among the crowd and interacting with the audience.
As residents and community members walk down the holiday wonderland, they will be met with frequent chances to engage with photo opportunities or indulge in the tasty treats that will be offered. The palm trees along the street will be embellished with dripping lights, illuminating a magical path through Rodeo Drive.
Rodeo Drive Committee President Kathy Gohari expressed her excitement for the upcoming lighting. She says that the celebration is back in full swing this year. “Last year was our first attempt to have a somewhat new normal, but we were extremely cautious and couldn’t go all out,” Gohari told the Courier. “But we are back this year! We have amazing, elevated performances from Katherine McPhee and David Foster, that alone is an event in itself. We will have entertainment through the crowds, on the stage and off the stage. It will be a larger celebration than we have seen for the past few years.”
As part of the main event, Mayor Lili Bosse and City Councilmembers will provide a countdown to the crowd and illuminate Rodeo Drive, officially launching the “Beverly Hills Express” and the holiday season. Santa Claus will make a very special guest appearance, accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display. “The holidays are truly a special time of year and Beverly Hills is the place where the magic happens!” said Bosse. “This year is going to be the best celebration yet with incredible performances on Rodeo Drive and beautiful lights and décor throughout the entire city with special nightly lighting projection surprises on City Hall! The vibrant energy on our streets, in our restaurants and shops that bring us together is exactly what we’ve all been looking forward to!”
The Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Nov. 17, but it is only the first event in the city’s plans for the holiday season. The “Glowing Gardens” at Beverly Canon Gardens; the “Lights on the Lily Pond” at Beverly Gardens Park on Santa Monica Boulevard; and the “Unwrap the Magic” projection will be presented nightly on the Beverly Hills City Hall Tower. On Dec. 3 and 4, there will be a family-friendly holiday celebration for children of all ages at Greystone Mansion.