hallidie_plaza.jpgSeveral organizers this evening are celebrating a facelift to a San Francisco plaza that’s often treaded on, but not otherwise enjoyed.

Hallidie Plaza, near the Powell Street BART station, has been given grant money for new landscaping, lighting, and ongoing free performances that might attract visitors to linger and enjoy the area.

“It’s been kind of a dead space primarily for people to walk through,” said Linda Mjellem, executive director of Union Square Business Improvement District, the group leading the revitalization.

The improvement district received about $74,400 from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office for the project, Mjellem said.

Along with updated landscaping, which started two weeks ago, artists will perform at the plaza through December.

Tonight’s performers will include aerial dancers, drummers, a mariachi band, and salsa dance classes. Val Diamond, who starred in Beach Blanket Babylon for more than 30 years, will emcee the event.

The performance started at 4 p.m. and will run until 7 p.m. today.

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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