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Beverly Hills Diamond Jubilee to End With Drawings, Dining

In Beverly Hills--pop. 66,000, not counting rubbernecks and quidnuncs--a network of underground pedestrian/shopping streets is graced with many-splendored artificial trees and 24-hour simulated sunlight. Coin-operated robot porters with voice-recognition sensors tote heavy packages to the car.

The vast underground garage is patrolled by another species of humanoid (caninoid?), these tooled to look like pet dogs but functioning as police vehicles. Detective work, as a matter of fact, is so enhanced by electronics that criminals have traded their shivs and jimmies for desktop computers. Panicky women in need of a last-minute coif “beam over to their hairdressers. . . .”

It’s the Beverly Hills of 2064, as envisioned by Margaret Harris, editor of the local Post, and it swings focus on the spiffy little city from the past to the future.

Sunday marks the grand finale of the spectacular, somewhat self-conscious celebration of its Diamond Jubilee, an extravaganza that has lasted 14 months.

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Events are scheduled throughout the day in Roxbury Park, where during random drawings for 75 prizes, one lucky drawer will snuggle home a $75,000 diamond earrings, necklace and ring set. (One may only hope it’s not someone in the business; in Beverly Hills, there may be more jewelers per square person than on any other turf in the world.)

Thirty of the area’s best restaurants will hawk their succulents from designer booths; a wine pavilion will pour for charity; a “big surprise, 14 feet tall and weighing 6 tons,” will feed 25,000 people, beginning at 5:30. (Hint: one of the sponsors is Haagen-Dazs.)

Beginning at 10:45 a.m. and lasting until 7 p.m., a Japanese Zither ensemble, Okinawan dancers and the Rodeo Drive Band, among others, will attempt to titillate even the most jaded musical tastes. Calligraphy, bonsai and karate demonstrations; rides, games and activities for kids; a Will Rogers impersonator . . . it all will lead up to the 75th birthday’s grand finale.

The celebration opened with a cast of 1,400 (including the Rockettes) and a historical tribute by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and pals. It will peak at 4:30 on a gentler note, with a 250-voice youth choir backing a dramatic reading by actor Jon Voight.

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And on Sunday night, the Harry Winston people in the Beverly Hills Hotel will finally begin to disassemble their trademark “pastry,” a $20-million, 2,400-diamond slice of “carat cake.”

Of course, they’re already preparing for 2064, so watch what you pet. It may be a police car.

Admission to the event is free. Roxbury Park is situated at Roxbury Drive and Olympic Boulevard. Parking at Beverly Hills High on Moreno or at Neiman Marcus, 9700 Wilshire Blvd., with shuttle service to and from the park.


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