The city of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee officially kicked off the holiday season Monday evening with the "Let it Sparkle" event, which features a display of crystals and an electronic ticker tape that lets people share social media messages with the community.
"What better place to kick off the holiday season than right here on Rodeo Drive?" Mayor Barry Brucker asked during a short speech to a crowd of several hundred people.
Brucker was joined by actress Jessica Alba and singer Jennifer Hudson for the holiday lighting ceremony on the 200 block of North Rodeo Drive.
After the mayor's speech a switch was flipped, illuminating thousands of crystals that together created the Swarovski Elements installation. The display features a helix-shaped sculpture with integrated LED lights and an electronic ticker tape that allows messages from social media sites to scroll down Rodeo Drive's center median.
Web savvy individuals are welcome to tweet a holiday message that will appear on the ticker tape using the hashtag "#letitsparkle." Those who prefer texting can send a few words to 877877 with the word "SPARKLE" to get a message on the ticker.
Alba joined Brucker and Swarovski Elements Executive Vice President Reinhard Mackinger on stage to send the first tweet.
"How cool is this?" Alba said as she used a special edition iPad to send her holiday wishes to the crowd. "Social Media—it's come to Rodeo Drive!"
The display will continue to dazzle crowds every evening through the holiday season, along with matching crystal decorations on light poles and sidewalks.