Are you, gentle reader, smarter than a librarian? Probably not; those cats are pretty smart. The main branch of the Lexington County Public Library hosts a trivia night tonight where you’ll test your mettle against librarians; the quizzing begins at 6 p.m. (Note that this is a library, so there won’t be tipples like there are at your favorite pub.) Visit for more information.


Historic Columbia’s quarterly Renovation Rodeo series takes guests on tours of old homes and buildings in the Columbia area that have been refurbished and renovated while staying true to the roots and history of the house. Tonight, the rodeo stops at a recently renovated cottage in Shandon from 6 to 7:30 p.m.; admission is $15, but members of Historic Columbia’s Palladium Society get in for free. Free hors d’ouevres will be served, and space is limited; visit for more information.


Memphis, a stage play loosely based on pioneering rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey Dewey Phillips, ran on Broadway for three years; Trustus Theatre opens a monthlong production of it tonight. The arts section has more.


The finals of the Miss South Carolina Pageant are tonight, and usually in this space we like to make a snide reference to Caitlin Upton, the Lexington beauty queen who became an internet sensation when she burped up a rambling, nonsensical answer during the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant. (You know, the one about maps and, uh, such as U.S Americans and, uh, the Iraq.) But now that we have a president, in Cheeto Palpatine, who regularly gives astonishingly, bafflingly and often aggressively bats#!t rationales for inhumane policy decisions — like, oh, I don’t know, imprisoning migrant children in concentration camps — on a daily basis, it just doesn’t seem funny any more. (Interesting note: Upton modeled for a time in her post-pageant career, and signed a deal with Trump’s modeling agency in New York City. She now sells real estate in Los Angeles.) So we’ll just tell you that tonight’s final round starts at 8 p.m., that tickets run from $41.50 to $66.50, and that the new Miss South Carolina will probably say something about the children being our future. Visit for more information.

No, today is not Independence Day proper. Hell, it’s not even July yet. But it’s the weekend, eh? So today seems as good as any to celebrate America with burgers, boats and things that go boom. The Lake Murray Independence Day Celebration has all three: It begins with a boat parade at noon and goes out with a bang with a big ol’ fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. R-O-C-K in the U-S-A! Admission is free for the boat parade, $3 per car at the Lake Murray Dam for the fireworks extravaganza. Visit for more information.

Columbia QuadSquad roller derby team

The Columbia QuadSquad roller derby team plays on Saturday.

We were a pretty average kid in that we misbehaved, like, a whole bunch. And whenever we finally acted up enough to get under our dad’s skin, he’d drop us a stern warning that we were, in his words, cruisin’ for a bruisin’. The Columbia QuadSquad ain’t misbehavin’, but they’re in line for some hurtin’ nonetheless: Today’s Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ bout at Skate Station USA is a doubleheader that finds the varsity QuadSquad taking on the Dub City Resistance, with the QuadSquad’s Junior Rollers battling the Lil Hooligans on the undercard. The roller derby mayhem begins at 6 p.m.; tickets are $10. Visit for more information.

Journalist turned filmmaker (and one-time Free Times staff writer) David Axe premieres his new film, Azrael, tonight at Tapp’s Arts Center; the arts section has more.


The Declaration of Independence promises three inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We’re not sure where indoor fireworks fit in there. Probably under pursuit of happiness. The annual Carolina Celebration of Liberty boasts an indoor fireworks show — hope it doesn’t scorch the inside of First Baptist Church — plus music from the Fort Jackson 282nd Army Band and the First Baptist Choir and Orchestra. Shows are at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket. Visit for more information.

Meanwhile, out Camden way, the free, family-friendly Patriots, Picnic & Pops festival at the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site features games and a family picnic before the Camden Community Concert Band strikes up a program of patriotic standards. Things kick off at 5 p.m.; there’s more information at


Look, we’ve talked a lot about fireworks this week; the Fourth of July is coming up, and we’ve got bodacious ballistic brilliance on the brain. But fireworks are dangerous — just ask Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Richland County Fire Marshals host a Fireworks Safety Session at Richland County Emergency Services at 1410 Laurens St. at 6 p.m.; it’s billed as a hands-on workshop, meaning you might get to light a sparkler or two yourself. Safely, of course. Visit for more information.


There are no fireworks at the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra’s Star Spangled Symphonic Salute; the concert’s at Saluda Shoals Park, and they probably don’t want to burn that mother down. Still, the patriotic musical display is still a hearty celebration; expect plenty of Sousa. The concert begins at 8 p.m., and admission is free. Visit for more information.


Today, reader, is Independence Day, wherein we celebrate the independence of our nation by blowing up a small part of it. Like everything else on Independence Day, the Lexington County Peach Festival culminates in a fireworks display. But it also promises a plethora of peaches and peach-related delights, like a peach parade and other peachy things that aren’t alliterative. The festival besieges most of the town of Gilbert from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; admission is free, though many of the peachy treats are not. Millions of peaches, peaches for me: Visit for more information. Look out!

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