The event kicks off the countdown to the city's centennial celebration, which is Jan. 28, 2014. It is the 31st oldest of Los Angeles County's 88 cities.
Sunday's event began with an authentic reproduction of the original Wells Fargo stagecoach pulled by a specially trained team of four horses accompanied by the Beverly Hills Police Department Equestrian Team.
Other participants included the famed USC mascot, Traveler; the Scripps Miramar Saddlebreds, who have participated in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Tournament of Roses parade; and the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, known for their trick riding and trick roping.
The grand marshal was Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry, a great-granddaughter of humorist Will Rogers, Beverly Hills' honorary mayor from 1926-28.
"It's just amazing how supportive the town is to remember Will Rogers
and remember him today," said Rogers-Etcheverry, who lives in Bakersfield and
is the founder and CEO of My Husband's Nuts, an almond wholesaler. "I was just
The parade was also held in conjunction with the Rodeo Drive Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, City Hall and the Conference and Visitor's Bureau. It was emceed by local historian Robbie Anderson.
Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch met at the intersection of Dayton Way with Beverly, MA, Mayor William Scanlon for a gift presentation. In 1907, Beverly Hills was named after Beverly Farms in the New England town because President William Howard Taft rented a summer home there. As Beverly Hills preps to celebrate its 100th birthday, it is only several more years until Beverly celebrates its 400th birthday.
Mirisch used the parade to announce Beverly Hills' centennial plans, which will include a float in the Tournament of Roses parade; a sing-along concert at Saban Theatre featuring songs written by former Beverly Hills residents George and Ira Gershwi; a dedication at the renovated Beverly Gardens; Cole Porter and Lionel Richie; a youth art contest; the annual "Woofstock" Festival; and the showing of films based and filmed in Beverly Hills at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The parade also included a tribute to Maria Rita Valdez, the original settler and owner of the land that is now considered Beverly Hills. She owned the land until 1854, when she sold it to Henry Hancock and Benjamin Wilson after being attacked by Indians, according to parade organizers.
Polish residents Jolanta and Karol Kwiatowski were thrilled to see the parade, and have lived in Beverly Hills for three years. Karol, a student at Beverly Vista School, noted he really like the performance by the Beverly Hills High School Marching Band.
For more information on the centennial and how to get involved, visit its website.
For more history and coverage of Rodeo de los Caballos, click here for the Los Angeles Times preview.
- City News Service contributed to this report.