Matangi / Maya / MIA poster

Documentary on rapper M.I.A. screens at the Nickelodeon Theatre on Tuesday.

Wednesday 5

Quietly earning a reputation around town for its stellar live shows, The Runout plays the kind of earnest Americana that seeps in around the edges as your beverage of choice and loosens up the emotional insulation of your soul. That’s a pretentious way of saying the group’s songs are thought-provoking and propelled by hook-laden grooves at the same time. Ashley Wright and the Vance Gap Ramblers lend support at the band’s free show at 8 p.m. at The White Mule. More info available at whitemulemusic.com. — Kevin Oliver

On this day in 1933, Prohibition was repealed and the liquor continued to flow — but, you know, more publicly. In honor of that fateful day, The Vista’s Liberty Tap Room is letting the liquor flow at a dinner featuring Woodford Reserve, where the bourbon is in the glass and infused into the food for a two-punch palate pleaser. Tickets are $50 per person and can be bought at libertytaproom.com, where you can also view the whole menu for the 6 p.m. dinner. — April Blake

Thursday 6

The December edition of Columbia’s First Thursday on Main art crawl is traditionally one of the event’s busier outings, and this week’s slate of happenings is no exception. The Columbia Museum of Art welcomes an exhibition concerning and including Jackson Pollock’s landmark Mural (more info in the feature) with a concert from the Mark Rapp Group contrasting the kinds of jazz the artist loved with the kinds he hated. Experimental flute duo if.else performs at Tapp’s Arts Center. The Whig hosts a tap takeover from Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co., experts in crafting dark beers that drink so well as the temperatures turn cooler. And The Rock And Roll Piano Show, “a mobile, high-energy, singalong show, with lots of audience interaction,” sets up in the new events space next to Michael’s Cafe & Catering. For more info on these and other First Thursday offerings running from 6 to 10 p.m., head to firstthursdayonmain.com. — Jordan Lawrence

Friday 7

Five Points ain’t just for green holidays. They also do red and green. The village neighborhood hosts its annual Starry Night holiday celebration tonight. There will be arts and crafts, visits with Santa, cookie decorating, face painting and more, in addition to DJ Arambula spinning tunes by the Hootie & the Blowfish Monument and live music from the Soda City Brass Band and Freeway Music at the Five Points Fountain. For more on the free festivities, which run from 4 to 9 p.m., head to fivepointscolumbia.com. — Jordan Lawrence

Local singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kelley McCulloch McLachlan and friends will lead the folks at Curiosity Coffee Bar in some holiday cheer, performing Carols at Curiosity for free starting at 5 p.m. Perhaps her skill on guitar and banjo will bring some of these old holiday warhorses to life, and if they don’t, there will be some (possibly adult) eggnog drinks and other treats to get people into the spirit. You can post your carol requests on the Facebook event page. — Vincent Harris

Saturday 8

Regulators! Mount up! The Richland County Regulators roller derby squad host their annual Regulators Invitational Christmastime smash-up today at 1649 Cox St., wherein the Regulators invite skaters from other regional roller derby squads for a flat-track free-for-all. The fracas kicks off at 6 p.m., and the Carolina Wreckingballs host their own invitational bout at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; visit facebook.com/RichlandCountyRegulators for more information. — Patrick Wall

You could use your Saturday night to go to a stuffy old silent auction where you bid tons of cash on stuff you don’t want, or you could hit the Columbia Museum of Art and enjoy the Time For Art silent auction, where you don’t need cash, because the bids are in volunteer hours. That’s right; you come on by (dress code is black-tie optional), enjoy the open bar, hors d’oeuvres and music by The Reggie Sullivan Band, find a piece of art you like in the auction and bid yourself as a volunteer for a few hours, taking home the piece when your service hours are done. Tickets are $60 a person ($100 per couple), and you can get more info at ourcor.org. — Vincent Harris

Last, but certainly not least, in the Capital City’s Nutcracker gauntlet is Columbia City Ballet’s performance of the Christmas standard; it opens today with performances at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center. Tickets run from $20 to $52. The matinee is preceded by a 1:30 p.m. Nutcracker Tea wherein you can meet Clara, her Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy — well, the dancers who portray them, at least. Nutcracker Tea tickets are $30 per person; visit columbiacityballet.com for more information. — Patrick Wall

Sunday 9

Repent, Christmas slackers. The yuletide time is nigh. If you’re searching for that perfect last minute gift, maybe you’ll find it at Crafty Feast, Columbia’s nine-year-old juried craft fair, which hosts more than 100 makers from across the Southeast. Looking for handmade jewelry? Crafty Feast has it. Artisan T-shirts? Crafty Feast has ‘em. Luxurious bath soaps? Crafty Feast has ‘em. Kaiju prints, organic dog treats, small-batch pimento cheese? Crafty Feast … ah, you get the idea. The fair runs from noon to 6 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center; admission is $3. Visit craftyfeast.com for more information. — Patrick Wall

The growing music lesson empire that is Freeway Music continues to churn out alarmingly proficient young musicians and bands, as their occasional student showcases dramatically illustrate. Their big Super Holiday Showcase will feature 30 songs from such acts as they rock out on The Senate stage, plus a visit from the man in red himself who will likely field some highly specific instrument requests. The event runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Go to freewaymusic.net to find out more. — Kyle Petersen

Monday 10

Swig a beer and grab some mushrooms. The Casual Pint in Columbia’s Vista hosts its weekly Mario Monday, setting up multiple classic Nintendo consoles (including one plugged into its big ole projector screen), so you can get all nostalgic playing the part of a scrolling, two-dimensional plumber besting dragon turtles, riding dragon horses and saving a princess named Peach — while also enjoying the bar’s reliable selection of craft beer. The free event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. See vista.thecasualpint.com for more info. — Jordan Lawrence

Tuesday 11

While she’s a bit removed from the heady pop success of “Paper Planes,” the masterful and provocative English/Sri Lankan artist and activist M.I.A. remains one of the most fascinating figures in the music world today, both for her genre-smashing meld of electronic, hip-hop and various threads of world music and her righteously radical political voice. The Sundance award-winning Matangi / Maya / MIA is a stunning documentary on the performer that draws from a 22-year cache of personal video recordings to dive intimately into what makes her tick. The film screens at the Nickelodeon Theatre at 6:30 p.m. tonight. More info available at nickelodeon.org. — Kyle Petersen

The fact that the regular lunchtime lectures outside McKissick Museum from public radio favorite and retired professor Rudy Mancke encourage guests to bring “items of interest for Rudy to examine, but no live animals please” tells you about all you need to know. Mancke is a South Carolina treasure and a walking encyclopedia of the flora and fauna in our state, and spending time with him is a comforting reminder of the constant buzz of life around you. Weather permitting, the talk begins at noon. Head to sc.edu to find out more. — Kyle Petersen

Wednesday 12

If you like your Christmas music with a big dose of heavy-metal guitars, special effects, Broadway-style theatricality and musical concept pieces (and why wouldn’t you?), Trans-Siberian Orchestra will scratch those various itches. The band’s mastermind, Paul O’Neill, passed away suddenly in 2016, but the band has kept the Christmas rock going. It will perform its popular conceptual work The Ghost Of Christmas Eve at Colonial Life Arena. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $40-$79.50. Full details at coloniallifearena.com. — Vincent Harris   

Find more things to do at free-times.com/events.

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