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Go Party at City Hall Friday

As the building celebrates its 100th birthday with music, lights, and acrobats.


Standing the test of time in a seismically unstable city is no small feat. This Friday San Francisco’s City Hall recognizes its hundred-year anniversary with an ambitious all-evening centennial celebration.

Free to the community, the party kicks off at 6 pm in Civic Center Plaza, which will be hard to miss with its giant inflatable lanterns, animated origami flowers, and glowing light sculpture garden—reason enough for you to drop by for a gander. Bring your dancing shoes, this extravaganza centers on sound, offering something for everyone, from local tunes born in the Bay Area to national classics performed by the San Francisco Opera.

The live performance, programmed by Chuck Prophet, spreads across two stages, will provide a musical retrospective of the city’s past ten decades, including the historic swing of Terrific Street and the Fillmore’s trademark jazz and blues, psychedelic ‘60s songs, California punk rock, and more. For snapshots of what’s to come check out Prophet’s Facebook previews. Performers include Lavay Smith, Chuck Prophet, Kelley Stoltz, Jello Biafra, Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon, and Andy Cabic of Vetiver.

Those who prefer to party privately can don a pair of headphones and take part in a two-channel silent disco HUSHcast. It’s like corporately car-dancing to the voices in your head, sans car.

If the music doesn’t entice you, perhaps the circus artists will. A caravan of eccentric performers, including sword swallowers, belly dancers, jugglers, contortionists, and people on stilts will roam the plaza throughout the evening, allowing for plenty of audience interaction. At night, performances will feature burlesque, clowns, electro-swing, and exotic stage performances.

Lest you anticipate anything too risqué, be assured that this centennial is approved for audiences of all ages. A faux forest, rainbow pyramid, fairy dome, and fantasy face painting will provide just the right fit for your little one (or possibly your roommate).

And what’s a celebration without food trucks and a beer garden? Not a celebration. At least, not in this city.

The evening’s entertainment will culminate in a laser light show rumored to rival light-saber scenes from the upcoming installment in the Star Wars saga, with the whole shebang scheduled to wrap up by 11 pm, in plenty of time to make the last BART home.


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