Beverly Hills Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

Beverly Hills Block Party

In the early 1900’s Burton Green and his wife renamed the land which is now Beverly Hills after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. This year, we celebrate the city’s 100th Birthday! The Rodeo Drive Committee and the City of Beverly Hills will commemorate the city’s centennial with a remarkable block party celebration for residents and visitors on Sunday, April 27, 2014 from 3:30pm – 8:00pm. The BH100 Centennial Block Party on Rodeo Drive will span the 200, 300, and 400 blocks of Rodeo Drive and will be an unprecedented birthday bash for the city and a fun and festive afternoon for all ages.

The spectacular centennial block party will feature 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 will spell out 1-0-0; a 20-piece dance band and a fireworks grand finale to celebrate the city’s independence. R&B legend Martha Reeves will also be on hand to celebrate the event theme, “Dancing in the Street,” with a performance of the famed song.

The centerpiece of the centennial celebration will be a 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 will stand approximately 10-feet high, 15-feet wide, 20-feet long and will weigh nearly 4,000 pounds, depicting the iconic Beverly Hills City Hall tower and Rodeo Drive. The cake is anticipated to serve approximately 15,000 slices to community members at 6:00 pm.

Just before the cake is cut, and to celebrate the “Dancing in the Street” theme, a special performance by Motown recording artist Martha Reeves will include the hit song, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Ms. Reeves was the lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas. During her ten-year tenure at Motown, Ms. Reeves and her partners scored 26 hit singles, including “Nowhere to Run,” “Jimmy Mack,” and “Heat Wave.”

Adding to the “Dancing in the Street” theme will be Citrus College’s 20-piece dance band “Night Shift” performing from 3:30 pm to 7:45 pm. At 5:45 pm, an elaborately choreographed dance performance will feature nearly 20 dance groups from across Southern California, including dancers from Arthur Murray Beverly Hills and Nu Nations, one of the nation’s top adult hip hop dance crews.

Throughout the block party, the TASTE of Beverly Hills presented by American Express will celebrate 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.

At 7:45pm, an unprecedented fireworks grand finale will take place above Rodeo Drive. The show will include a five-minute program, which will include 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 will also pay tribute to Gene Kelly who lived on Rodeo Drive for more than 40 years.

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