The Rodeo Drive Committee and the City of Beverly Hills commemorated the city’s centennial with a remarkable block party celebration on Sunday.
The BH100 Centennial Block Party on Rodeo Drive spanned the 200, 300, and 400 blocks of Rodeo Drive and was an unprecedented birthday bash for the city, featuring a 15,000 slice birthday cake; a TASTE of Beverly Hills festival with some of the city’s legendary restaurants; carnival rides and games, including two four-story Ferris Wheels that spelled out 1-0-0; a 20-piece dance band and a fireworks grand finale celebrating the city’s independence.
R&B legend Martha Reeves also performed her famed song, “Dancing in the Street” to a crowd of guests that included Gabrielle Carteris, as well as Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse, Beverly Hills City Councilmembers, and Jim Jahant, Rodeo Drive Committee President. Patricia Ward Kelly, Gene Kelly’s widow, also participated in the event by sharing an inspirational message about her husband’s love of dance with the one hundred dancers taking part in the event.
The BH100 Centennial Block Party on Rodeo Drive celebrated Beverly Hills Independence Day, which recognizes the historic vote on April 24, 1923 that Beverly Hills residents voted to remain a separate City, rather than be annexed to the City of Los Angeles.
The centerpiece of the centennial celebration was the one-of-a-kind birthday cake presented by the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive and Guittard Chocolate Company’s corporate executive pastry chef, Donald Wressell. The cake stood approximately 10-feet high, 15-feet wide, 20-feet long and weighed nearly 4,000 pounds, depicting the iconic Beverly Hills City Hall tower and Rodeo Drive. The cake served approximately 15,000 slices to community members and visitors.
Throughout the block party, the TASTE of Beverly Hills presented by American Express celebrated the Beverly Hills Centennial Cookbook, which features signature dishes from acclaimed restaurants, including 208 Rodeo, THE Blvd., CUT, The Grill on the Alley Beverly Hills, Montage Hotel, On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge, M Café, Mr. Chow Beverly Hills, The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Spago, Scarpetta, Via Alloro, Il Cielo and Sprinkles. Other Beverly Hills companies also supported the TASTE of Beverly Hills with samplings by Beverly Hills Brownies, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and more. A portion of the proceeds from the TASTE of Beverly Hills benefitted The City of Beverly Hills Community Charitable Foundation in their efforts to maintain and restore city monuments.
Concluding the festivities was an epic fireworks show, which included a five-minute program of more than 3,500 low level pyrotechnic devices designed by Pyro Spectaculars by Souza timed to some of the most memorable dance music of the last 100 years. The fireworks finale paid tribute to Gene Kelly who lived on Rodeo Drive for more than 40 years.
Sponsors for the BH100 Centennial Block Party on Rodeo Drive, included the City of Beverly Hills, Guittard Chocolate Company, Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, Gearys Beverly Hills, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz Beverly Hills and The Tronstein Family.