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Beverly Hills residents and visitors will soon enjoy “Visions of Holiday Glamour” along the Rodeo Drive median as a parade of 10-foot-tall mannequins attired in vibrant floral gowns come to the catwalk for the holiday season.
Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 21, as part of this year’s winter holiday programming, and concluding on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, the planned holiday décor is part of a $350,000 contract with J. Ben Bourgeois Productions Inc. unanimously approved by the Beverly Hills City Council on Oct. 13.
“We decided this year to bring a little bit of a dream to everybody on Rodeo Drive. We are bringing fashion shows of the runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York onto the center median of Rodeo Drive,” Rodeo Drive Committee Vice President Kathy Gohari said. “Hopefully, this installation will bring a little bit of happiness to visitors and residents and the merchants on this street.”
The council vote mirrored the recommendation made by the City Council liaison committee of Mayor Lester Friedman and Councilwoman Lili Bosse, who worked with the Rodeo Drive Committee to finesse the proposal.
Bosse highlighted to her colleagues that the money used to fund the median décor would be transient occupancy tax funds specifically earmarked for marketing purposes.
“I want to be sure that everyone knows we were concerned about safety. And I think that the installation is cognizant of that, and I think that appropriate precautions have been taken,” Friedman said. “It really looks beautiful. I think that this is tasteful. It’s within a budget that is reasonable.”
For the safety of Rodeo Drive visitors, a 42-inch tall railing will be placed around the median. In addition, as in previous years, surveillance signage will be placed throughout the median to further deter any entry onto the median.
The décor includes 10 female mannequins adorned with three shades of glitter – champagne, copper and bronze – and attired in vibrant faux floral gowns fabricated to withstand the elements. Nine will be positioned along the 200-block to 400-block stretch of the Rodeo Drive median atop elevated red, runway-style platforms. A 10th mannequin positioned on the sidewalk at the intersection of Dayton Way and Rodeo Drive will serve as a photo opportunity for visitors.
“We also think that having a pretty photo opportunity might make this more likely to keep this a safe environment and installation,” Gohari said.
During the evening, the installations will be lit with spotlights, and the red runway will be lit with interwoven red lights. There will be no additional cost to replace any faux flowers during the display period, according to the staff report.
The Rodeo Drive Committee has historically created a Rodeo Drive median holiday display, which transforms the area into an iconic holiday destination. This year, holiday-themed gowns will honor Hanukkah and Christmas, in addition to celebrating the season in other ways.
The staff reports stated: “The RDC and city have selected JBB for the 2020 holiday décor due to their excellent execution of the 2019 holiday programming for Rodeo Drive … and … in the interest of time it is recommended the City Council waive the bidding requirements.”
Additional décor includes six ornament-covered poles placed along the street which will display a two sided-banner showcasing “Visions of Holiday Glamour.” As in years past, all trees will all be wrapped in Christmas twinkle lights with lighted teardrops hanging from the foliage.
“We’re really recognizing that this is a unique time in history for all of us and for our community. And for presenting something that we as a city can be very proud of … something that was magical during the day and the night,” Bosse said. “I think this is going to be truly magnificent and exciting.”
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