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Beverly Hills Courier

City of Beverly Hills | News

Beverly Hills Officially Lights Up the Holidays

The city of Beverly Hills officially ushered in the start of the 2022 holiday season on Nov. 17 with the annual Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration, a highly anticipated event that drew in a crowd of 6,000 people, according to city officials.

BY Bianca Heyward November 24, 2022
Beverly Hills Officially Lights Up the Holidays
Fireworks illuminated Rodeo Drive at the conclusion of the Lighting Ceremony. Photo by Bianca Heyward
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The city of Beverly Hills officially ushered in the start of the 2022 holiday season on Nov. 17 with the annual Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration, a highly anticipated event that drew in a crowd of 6,000 people, according to city officials. The evening included musical performances by 16-time Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and producer David Foster and singer Katharine McPhee, whimsical photo opportunities, an appearance from Santa Claus, and of course, a fireworks finale. The City Council took to the stage and led the crowd in a countdown before illuminating the palm trees that line the center median with dripping lights and tree trunks covered in warm, white lights, revealing the track for the “Beverly Hills Express” on Rodeo Drive. Centered around a glittering bright red train engine and caboose, the “Beverly Hills Express” stationary train display runs from Wilshire Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard and includes luxury vintage passenger cars with sparkling wrapped holiday presents and ornaments to match. 

McPhee and Foster, who married in 2019, headlined the event and played holiday classics and songs from their new album called “Christmas Songs,” which comes out on Nov. 25. McPhee introduced herself as a native Angeleno and led fans in a few seconds of Weezer’s “Beverly Hills,” while Foster gave shoutouts to the likes of Mayor Lili Bosse and tennis legend Tommy Haas, both of whom were in the audience. Entertainment that evening also included a cappella carolers and the Grammy-winning all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Divas. While last year’s celebration also drew in around 6,000 attendees, other years have seen as many as 10,000 visitors. 

Rodeo Drive was also populated with holiday performers and characters that included jugglers who rode up and down the street on giant tricycles and a life-size inflatable snow globe with a wintery character inside who posed for photos with families and interacted with the crowd. 

Three performance zones, food trucks, picnic tables and seating areas were set up throughout the street, with luxury storefronts like Valentino and Saint Laurent in the backdrop. Before the fireworks grand finale, holiday dancers and performers paraded down Dayton Way at Rodeo, and followed by Santa Claus riding on top of a Beverly Hills Fire Department truck, waving to the crowd.

The holiday festivities continue through the New Year in Beverly Hills, with installations such as the Glowing Gardens at Beverly Canon Gardens, “Lights on the Lily Pond” at the Beverly Hills Lily Pond, and the “Unwrap the Magic at Beverly Hills City Hall” projection show on view nightly on the Beverly Hills City Hall Tower.

On Dec. 3 and 4, festivities continue at the historic Greystone Mansion and Gardens for the annual Holidays at Greystone event, which features a seasonal variety show titled “Holiday Spectacular” presented by the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, music on the terrace from rock/klezmer band Mostly Kosher, caroling, crafts, story time and festive décor. The two-day event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and reservations are required for all attendees ages 2 and up. 

Additional Reporting by Nathan Ansell

Santa Claus rode in on top of a fire truck to greet the crowd Photo by Bianca Heyward

“Unwrap the Magic” projection show at City Hall Photo by Ana Figueroa

Tree Decorations skating along Rodeo Drive Photo by Ana Figueroa

Crowds strolling near Two Rodeo Photo by Ana Figueroa

The Beverly Hills Express on Rodeo Drive Photo by Ana Figueroa

The lighting celebration concluded with the annual fireworks finale illuminating Rodeo Drive Photo by Bianca Heyward

Singer Katharine McPhee and 16-time Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and producer David Foster performed at the Rodeo Drive Holiday Lighting Celebration Photo by Bianca Heyward

Councilmembers Lester Friedman and Julian Gold, Katharine McPhee, Mayor Lili Bosse, David Foster, Councilmembers John Mirisch and Sharona Nazarian Photo courtesy city of Beverly Hills

David Foster and Katherine McPhee performing on stage Photo courtesy of city of Beverly Hills

Street performers entertained the crowd. Photo by Lisa Friedman Bloch

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