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Macy’s Passport is the place to be and be seen.

Now in its 26th year, the “fashion and compassion” event marks San Francisco’s single biggest fundraiser for HIV/AIDS services, prevention and research, with some $27 million collected to date.

“With more than 1.5 million Americans living with HIV today … prevention and education remain paramount in stopping the spreading of the disease, especially to future generations,” says Macy’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Jennette.

Passport is also The City’s biggest fashion party. This year, from Tuesday through Thursday, some 4,000 revelers will converge on Fort Mason to catch high-voltage runway shows and related programs featuring top designers, performers and celebrities.

Guests may mix, munch and mingle with glitterati and fashionistas, too. The 2008 Passport features a partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, offering visitors a chance to view the artist’s iconic work.

Larry Hashbarger, co-founder, director and producer of the event, says, “The Macy’s Passport experience is like no other — it’s what we call fashion theater.”

Designers headlining the show, which is partially underwritten by American Experss, include Calvin Klein, Ben Sherman, Tommy Hilfiger, Ed Hardy and Alfani.

Performers include No Doubt drummer Adrian Young; Cheer SF, a professional cheerleading troupe; Broadway choreographer Brian Friedman; and salsa choreographer Alex Da Silva.

Tommy Hilfiger and Christian Audigier, designer for Ed Hardy, are expected to make special appearances, while theater legend Dame Edna and actress Jennifer Coolidge will pop in at Thursday’s Gala Evening.

Runway highlights include five decades of British rock, a musical celebration of film, fashion and American pop culture and an over-the-top Hollywood-themed revue.

Today, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, “Fashion Inform: HIV Prevention 101” mixes fashion with AIDS education for 2,000 Bay Area high school students.

On Wednesday, Passport’s American Express Evening features a pre-show cocktail reception and after-show mingling with Passport models and special guests.

At Thursday’s Gala Evening, which is chaired by Dr. Alan Malouf and Usha Burns, Keith Haring’s artwork will be staged in a Passport VIP Lounge hosted by Wells Fargo.

In addition to the runway show, Thursday’s bash features a pre-show reception, a live auction with prizes including a trip to the U.S. Open, and an after party with cast and crew.

Malouf says the gala will combine “fashion, compassion and fun for an unforgettable evening.”

Macy’s Passport

Where: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; pre-show activities from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

Tickets: $85 general; more for VIP packages

Contact: www.ticketmaster.com; (877) 252-7814 for VIP tickets

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