Arts and Draughts

Columbia Museum of Art, Drink beer. See art. Hear music. Repeat quarterly.

Dollar Sunday at Historic Columbia

The Gift Shop at Robert Mills, Richland and Lexington County residents are invited to take a guided tour of historic house museums.

First Thursday on Main

Main Street, downtown Columbia, Eclectic monthly arts series. A loose collaboration between the merchants and galleries on Main Street.

Rhythm on the River

West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheatre, Weekly outdoor concert series during warmer months.


Midcentury Masters: Jasper Johns’ Gifts to the CMA

Through Feb. 24. Columbia Museum of Art, Jasper Johns is one of most influential American artists of the 20th century. He painted symbols like numbers and flags, things that were ordinary, things that, in his words, existed as clear facts “not involving an aesthetic hierarchy.”

30th Anniversary Exhibit

Through Mar. 9 South Carolina State Museum, In celebration of the State Museum’s 30th anniversary, this exhibit showcases artifacts and fossils acquired from 1988 to 2018.

Pollock Mural

Jackson Pollock, Mural

Jackson Pollock: Mural

Through May 19. Columbia Museum of Art, Jackson Pollock’s 20-foot Mural changed the destiny of modern art. Not only did it catapult Pollock into the spotlight, it also brought audacious new scale and experimentation to abstract expressionism.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events at USC

2020 dates TBA. The University of South Carolina generally starts its festivities the week before and keeps on going well into the next week with talks, musical presentations, more.

Restaurant Week Columbia

2020 dates TBA. Restaurants offer deals, you show up and enjoy.


2020 date TBA. Koger Center, Some of the finest ballet dancers from around the nation come and perform a varied repertoire.


Marvel Universe LIVE!

Feb. 1-3.Colonial Life Arena, Touring live performance featuring Spider-Man, Captain America and more.

Beatles the Ballet

Feb. 2. Koger Center, Presented by Columbia City Ballet.

Black History Parade & Festival

Feb. 2. A celebration of history, achievement and community.

Lize Wessels Ye Olde Pub Night

Feb. 2. 37th annual fundraiser for the Columbia Music Festival Association features Joe Pinner as emcee, and probably the only dart tournament around.

Shen Yun

Feb. 5. Koger Center, Classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, animated backdrops.

The Future Leaders of Hip-Hop Black History Music Festival

Feb. 8. Township Auditorium, Lil Baby, Tokyo Jetz, Young Nudy and more perform.

James Taylor and His All-Star Band

Feb. 8. Colonial Life Arena, Famed folk singer performs. Bonnie Raitt opens.

Lil Duval

Feb. 9. Township Auditorium, Comedian and singer performs.

South Carolina Philharmonic: Symphonie Fantastique!

Feb. 9. Koger Center, Part of the Orchestra’s Masterworks series.

Madea’s Farewell Play Tour

Feb. 14-17. Township Auditorium, Touring production stops in Columbia.

University of South Carolina Band Clinic

Feb. 14-17. Koger Center, Numerous University of South Carolina ensembles offer free concerts during this high school clinic.

World Beer Festival

Feb. 16. South Carolina State Fairgrounds, The World Beer Festival is one of the premier beer events in the country, presenting hundreds of local, national and international beers.

Brunch So Hard

Feb. 17. Brunch food, mimosas and bloody marys — brought to you by Free Times.

The Wizard of Oz

Feb. 18. Koger Center, Touring production of the Broadway musical.

Columbia Craft Beer Week

Feb. 9-17. A week-long celebration of craft beer sponsored KW Beverage and focusing on the beers the company distributes. Special events at breweries, bars, restaurants and retail spots.

Three Dog Night

Feb. 21. Township Auditorium, Classic rock band performs.

Fleetwood Mac

Feb. 22. Colonial Life Arena, Legendary pop-rock band performs.

WWE Live: Road to Wrestlemania

Feb. 23. Colonial Life Arena, Live professional wrestling.

Rock of Ages

Feb. 24. Koger Center, Touring production of the Broadway musical.

Auntie Karen Foundations Presents Legends of ... 2019

Feb. 22. Koger Center, Featuring The Isley Brothers.

Harambee Festival

Feb. 22-23 Benedict College, Features the award-winning Benedict College Gospel Choir and other musical performers amid a slew of other offerings: food, dance, art, educational programs and much more.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

March 1. Koger Center, Presented by Columbia Classical Ballet.


March 1-17. Town Theatre, Stage musical based on the 1992 film.

Mardi Gras Columbia

March 2. City Roots, A plethora of local and regional bands boogie down on the farm to crowds strewn with beads. Plenty of food and beer available for consumption.

Run Hard Columbia Marathon

March 2. Long-running race returns for another long haul.

Something Rotten!

March 4-5. Koger Center, Touring production of the Broadway musical.


March 7. Colonial Life Arena, Pop singer performs.

Funny as Ish Comedy Tour

March 10. Colonial Life Arena, Led by Mike Epps.

Carolina Classic: Home & Garden Show

March 8-10. SC State Fairgrounds, Need ideas to help you spruce up your own home? Check out many home building, remodeling and gardening/landscaping exhibits.

A Life with Art: Gifts from Dwight and Sue Emanuelson

March 8-May 19. Columbia Museum of Art, Dwight and Sue Emanuelson have generously given artworks to the CMA for 25 years, and this sweeping four-gallery exhibition celebrates the couple’s ardent engagement with art and artists.


March 9. Township Auditorium, Rock band brings acoustic tour to Columbia.

Weezer / Pixies

March 10. Colonial Life Arena, Famed alt-rockers perform in Columbia.

Elton John

March 13. Colonial Life Arena, Famed pianist and pop singer brings farewell tour to Columbia.

Off the Wall and Onto the Stage

March 15. Township Auditorium, Columbia City Ballet performs ballet inspired by the artwork of Jonathan Green.

Winter Jam

March 15. Colonial Life Arena, Annual Christian music tour swings through Columbia.

St. Pat’s in Five Points

March 16. Five Points, Columbia’s biggest party also includes the Get to the Green Race and the St. Pat’s Parade, not to mention a robust schedule of musicians and other performers.

South Carolina Philharmonic: Springtime & Shaw

March 16. Koger Center, Part of the Orchestra’s Masterworks series.

Bluegrass, Bidding & BBQ

March 21. Robert Mills House, Bid on a variety of items, vacation packages, artwork and shopping deals as you enjoy live music, specialty drink and food.

Vista After Five

Series starts March 21. The Senate/Tin Roof, Outdoor concert series in the temperate months.

Soda City Suds Week

March 21-24. Independently run slate of events aimed at promoting the range of breweries and beer-focused businesses in Columbia.

NCAA Men’s Basketball — First/Second Rounds

March 22. March 24. Colonial Life Arena, The Big Dance comes to Columbia.

Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic

March 22-24. South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Premier hunting and fishing outdoor show. Vendors, samples, demonstrations.


March 23. Koger Center, Touring production of the Broadway musical.

Deckle Edge Literary Festival

March 23. Literary festival will feature signings, readings, writers’ workshops and more.

Indie Grits Festival

March 28-31. So much more than just a film festival, this signature event spans various forms of media with a litany of screenings, installations and performances.

Legends of Hip-Hop

March 29. Colonial Life Arena, Juvenile, Scarface, Too Short, DJ Quik, 8Ball & MJG, Bun B and Pastor Troy perform.


March 30. Township Auditorium, Classic rock band performs.

Carolina Cup

March 30. Springdale Race Course, The small town of Camden is full of historic sites and antique shops; it’s also a nationally known hub for horse training and home to the Springdale Race Course.

Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!

March 30. Colonial Life Arena, Live performance featuring characters from the famed children’s show.

The Sleeping Beauty

March 30. Koger Center, Presented by Columbia City Ballet.

Ballet Stars of New York

March 31. Koger Center, Under the direction of Stacey Calvert, principal dancers from the New York City Ballet will perform with the USC Dance Company.


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

April 2-7. Koger Center, Touring production of the Broadway musical.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day

April 4. Township Auditorium, Touring production for children.

Columbia Fireflies

April 4. Spirit Communications Park, Home opener for Columbia’s minor league baseball team, a New York Mets affiliate.

Tartan Day South

April 4-7. Historic Columbia Speedway, A celebration of all things Celtic.

Monster Jam

April 5-6. Colonial Life Arena, Giant trucks will smash stuff. People will cheer.

Columbia International Festival

April 6-7. South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Long-running annual international food and culture festival offers bazaars, ethnic foods, national exhibitions, a fashion show and cultural performances, and culminates in a parade of nations.

Hip Hop Family 2017

Hip-Hop Family Day

Hip-Hop Family Day

April 13. This annual block party is a celebration of the artistic and community-building traditions of hip-hop, consistently crowned by impressive old-school headliners such as Kid ‘n Play and MC Lyte.

River Rocks Music Festival

April 13. Festival presented by and benefiting the Congaree Riverkeeper. This year’s headliner is Justin Townes Earle.

Bark to the Park

April 13. Finlay Park, One-mile dog walk and activities for canines. Oh, and people, too: food, entertainment, vendors, more.

Artista Vista

April 18. The Vista, Columbia’s oldest and most celebrated gallery crawl.

Columbia Food and Wine Festival

April 26-28. A premier food- and drink-sampling event capped by a celebration on Saluda Avenue in Five Points.

Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival

April 27. South Carolina State Fairgrounds, National event organizer to hold beer-and-food fling in Columbia for fourth year.

Kinetic Derby Day

April 27. West Columbia. Human-powered handmade floats, soapbox derby racing and other zany times.

Lower Richland Sweet Potato Festival

April 27. Parade, dancers, step team, drum line and more.

South Carolina Philharmonic: Youth Extravaganza

April 27. Koger Center, Part of the Orchestra’s Masterworks series.

Greater Columbia Record Fair

April 28. Columbia Museum of Art, Vendors from all around the U.S. selling vinyl records, along with food and drink and live music.


Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic

May 2-5. Colonial Life Arena, Touring performance featuring favorite Disney characters on ice scates.

Ron White

May 9. Township Auditorium, Comedian performs.

Black Expo

May 16-18. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Exhibitors and vendors, seminars, workshops, youth activities, a health fair and local and national entertainment.

Governor’s Cup

May 17-18. State House, Popular road-race event that features 8K and half-marathon events.

Drink Pink Rosé Festival

May 19. Sample many varieties of rosé wine at City Roots farm, with live jazz, cheeses and more.

PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue

May 24-26. Colonial Life Arena, Touring performance featuring favorite characters from the popular children’s show.

The Big Nosh

TBA. Tree of Life Congregation, Festival celebrating Jewish-American cuisine.

USMC Ultimate Challenge Mud Run

TBA. The Leatherneck, A daunting 6.2-mile, all-terrain obstacle course packed with boot camp-style traps, including mud holes, walls and trenches.

Rosewood Crawfish Festival 2018

Rosewood Crawfish Festival

Rosewood Crawfish Festival

TBA. Rosewood Drive, Stuff yourself with Cajun and Creole cuisine in addition to samples from Rosewood restaurants. It’s a feast for the ears as well, with four stages historically dominated by popular ’90s alt-rockers and up-and-coming locals.



June 1. Street festival featuring local acts, vendors and a pageant, hosted by SC Pride.

Southern Guitar Festival & Competition

June 7-9. Present concerts, masterclasses, lectures and an international competition, with divisions for elementary/middle school, high school, and college/professional levels.

Tour of Homes

June 8-23. Showcases five communities and more than 50 homes spanning every price range.

Southeastern Piano Festival

June 16-23. Presents some of the nation’s most talented up-and-coming pianists.

Columbia Fashion Week

June 19-22. Who says Columbia doesn’t have style? Go get dazzled at a few displays on the runway and attend special events like the annual Beautiful People Party.

Conductors Institute

TBA. Koger Center, Aspiring conductors come to town from all over the country and beyond to hone their craft. Conducting sessions are open to the public.


Carolina Celebration of Liberty

TBA. First Baptist Church of Columbia, U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Patriotic celebration and salute to the armed forces.

Bring It! Live

July 5. Township Auditorium, Featuring the Coach Dianna Williams and her team of Dancing Dolls.

Cirque du Soleil: Corteo

July 10-14. Colonial Life Arena, Famed avant-garde circus arts troupe comes to town.

Summer Carolina Bridal Showcase

July 21. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Table settings! Dresses! Flowers! Just try not to get married after attending this event.

Lake Murray Independence Day Celebration

TBA. Lake Murray, Boat parade and fireworks extravaganza.

Lexington County Peach Festival

TBA. Gilbert, Fireworks! Peaches! Hurrah!


Brew at the Zoo

Aug. 2. Riverbanks Zoo, Beer and baboons! Meander through the Zoo or hang out in the plaza while sampling domestics and microbrews.

South Carolina Black Pride

Aug. 22-25. Like the annual Pride festival, but black-oriented.

Soda City Comic Con

TBA. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Big comic convention includes comic book and toy vendors, special guests, cosplay contests.

Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival

TBA. City Roots, Organized by Sustainable Midlands. Mmm … tomatoes!

Main Street Latin Festival

TBA. Main Street, downtown Columbia, Endorsed by the City of Columbia and supported by South Carolina Hispanic Outreach, this festival showcase the culture and vitality of Columbia’s Latin community with a wide variety of Hispanic food, art, dance and music.


Gamecock Football Season Opener

Sept. 7. Williams-Brice Stadium, University of South Carolina kicks off the home portion of its 2019 football campaign against Charleston Southern.

Hootie & the Blowfish

Sept. 12-13. Colonial Life Arena, Famed Columbia-born rock band swings through on reunion tour with support from Barenaked Ladies.


Jubilee Festival of Heritage

Jubilee Festival of Heritage

Sept. 21. Mann-Simons Cottage, Features hands-on demonstrations from skilled artists and craftsmen and vendors with African-influenced and traditional merchandise. Music ranges from African drumming to R&B, jazz and gospel.

Irmo Okra Strut

Sept. 27-28. Irmo, Music, food, games and an okra parade. No, we’re not kidding.

Carrie Underwood

Sept. 29. Colonial Life Arena, Country music star performs.

Columbia Greek Festival

TBA. Sumter Street at Calhoun Street, downtown Columbia, The Greek Festival is Columbia at its best — multicultural, culinary diversity and family friendly fun. Plus: baklava!

Congaree Swamp Fest

TBA. Congaree National Park, Celebrates the rich heritage of Lower Richland County. Wide array of entertainment, food vendors, guided park tours, more.

Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party

TBA. South Carolina State Museum, Annual event for barbecue, live music and artist demonstrations put on by the SC State Museum.

Palmetto Capital City Classic

TBA. Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, The Palmetto Classic pits the Benedict College Tigers against another historically black college or university in an annual clash on the gridiron.

Eau Claire Fest

TBA. Eau Claire Town Center, The Eau Claire festival celebrates the North Columbia neighborhood with a marketplace, music and food.


Great American Whiskey Fair

Oct. 4.. Grand Hall at 701 Whaley, Distilling luminaries, small producers, bartenders and enthusiasts will gather to celebrate all things whiskey — from cask to glass.

Famously Hot South Carolina Pride

Oct 4-5. Main Street, downtown Columbia, SC Pride is a two-day festival featuring music, art, parties, a nighttime parade and much more, celebrating the LGBTQ community and its contributions to the Palmetto State. Friday night’s Get Lit concert and night parade will be followed by a day of family-friendly festival fun.

Newberry Oktoberfest

Oct. 5. Historic Downtown Newberry, Annual event celebrating German tradition.

South Carolina State Fair

Oct. 9-20. South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Rides and deep-fried goodness and — occasionally — pretty decent bands.

Boo at the Zoo

Oct. 18-30. Riverbanks Zoo, Lions and tigers … and ghosts! And candy!

Gervais Street Bridge Dinner

TBA. Dine with 999 other people atop the historic 1/4-mile-long bridge spanning the Congaree River.


TBA. Five Points Fountain, Annual music festival celebrating the life of legendary Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia.

Carolina Downhome Blues Festival

TBA. Downtown Camden, Blues music from all over the world in bars all over downtown Camden.

Dracula: Ballet with a Bite

TBA. Koger Center, The Count’s come all the way from Transylvania to show you how much he wants to suck your blood.

Korean Festival

TBA. 1412 Richland St., Bulgogi! Dukbogi! Kimchi! Hosted by the Korean Community Presbyterian Church, this festival highlights Korean food (yum!), as well as dance and other cultural aspects.

Oktoberfest Columbia

TBA. Incarnation Lutheran Church, Celebrate German heritage with German food, German beer and German music. Proceeds benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank, the Midlands Foundation for Foster Children and the Incarnation Lutheran Church Foundation.

Palmetto Peanut Boil

TBA. Publick House, If you don’t like boiled peanuts, you’re living in the wrong state.

Jam Room Music Festival

TBA. Main Street, downtown Columbia, It’s amazing what happens when the people booking a music festival actually know something about music. Presents local, regional and national rock acts.


Lights Before Christmas

Select dates in Nov. and Dec.. Riverbanks Zoo, With nearly one million twinkling lights assembled into an array of dazzling images, Lights Before Christmas is a longstanding hallmark of Columbia’s Christmas season.

South Carolina Peanut Party

TBA. Pelion, The town of Pelion celebrates the peanut and all its edible varieties — Peanut butter! Boiled peanuts! Peanut brittle! Uh … spicy peanut sauce!

Revolutionary War Field Days

TBA. Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, Marching, muskets, and shots fired! But as opposed to that first Revolutionary War, no one gets hurt.

Bubbie’s Brisket and Bakeoff

TBA. Beth Shalom Synagogue, A veritable smorgasbord of Jewish food awaits.

Vista Lights

TBA. The Vista, Carriage rides, Christmas tree lighting, holiday music and more create the atmosphere for this annual open house for Vista businesses and galleries.

Five Points Chili Cook-Off

TBA. Five Points, Immensely popular Five Points food event. Recipes include vegetarian, traditional, wild things, exotic and hot stuff. Good eatin’. Live music, too.

Governor’s Carolighting

TBA. South Carolina State House. If you celebrate the season and can put away partisan politics for one night, you might dig watching the governor light the State House Christmas tree. Typically held the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Holiday Lights on the River

TBA. Saluda Shoals Park, A dazzling, twinkling, massive drive-through light display along the Saluda River.

South Carolina Oyster Festival

TBA. Robert Mills House, Mmm ... oysters! Columbia’s largest outdoor oyster roast features thousands of pounds of steamed oysters for sale by the bucket. Also features music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors, and more.


Junior League of Columbia Holiday Market

Dec. 4-9. South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Popular four-day holiday market. In addition to all the stuff you can buy, the market features special events. Raises funds and awareness for local community needs.

Famously Hot New Year

Dec. 31. Main Street, downtown Columbia, Annual block party rocks in the New Year with beer, food vendors, an area for kids’ rides and a great fireworks show. Did we mention music? R&B vocal group En Vogue headlined last year.

Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade

TBA. Gervais Street, downtown Columbia, Columbia’s annual and official holiday parade.

Columbia Christmas Pageant

TBA. First Baptist Church, This annual Christmas pageant is a huge deal: It’s televised statewide.

Crafty Feast

TBA. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Avoid the mall! Buy handmade goodies from local and regional artisans for all your friends and family this year! That’s an order!

Devine Night Out

TBA. Devine Street, than 40 stores on Devine Street will welcome guests, encouraging them to be merry and spend heartily.

A Starry Night

TBA. Five Points, Santa! Hot chocolate! Christmas-y music and fun! Joy to Five Points!

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