Today is Flitch of Bacon Day. We have no idea what that entails, but it has bacon in the name, so we figure it must be delicious.


Beat a drum! Bang a gong! Toot a flute! Today is Make Music Day, a worldwide celebration of the universal language. Make Music Columbia finds a holy host of Columbia musicians making merry today; the music section has more on how you can make music right here in town.

The Columbia Fireflies are participating in Make Music Day, too; fans are encouraged to bring their instruments to Spirit Communications Park for tonight’s game against the Lakewood BlueClaws, and the team will be handing out Fireflies kazoos for those among us without a lick of musical talent. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and tickets run from $5 to $10. Visit for more information.

Won't You Be My Neighbor

Won't You Be My Neighbor? opens Friday at the Nickelodeon Theatre.


Fifty years ago this year, the world was introduced to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. And for the next 33 years, the kindly, cardiganed visage of Fred Rogers — an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer who spoke to children simply and directly about some of life’s weightiest issues — was beamed daily into homes across America. The documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? looks back on the legacy of Rogers, who died in 2003, focusing on Rogers’s radical empathy and kindness and taking viewers beyond the land of make-believe and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations. The doc opens today at the Nickelodeon Theatre; screening times were unavailable when Free Times went to press. Visit for tickets and more information.


The Southeastern Piano Festival wraps up today with one final concert, this one featuring the winners of yesterday’s Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the University of South Carolina School of Music Concert Hall. Admission is $10. Visit for more.

Columbia Fashion Week started last week — we told you about it, remember? — and continues with fashion-oriented events like runway shows, shopping hops and hot-to-trot afterparties. Columbia Fashion Week culminates today with one final runway show and finale night party starting at 7 p.m. at ETV Headquarters on George Rogers Boulevard. Tickets to the Style Week finale are $45, or $55 for the VIP treatment. For more information, visit

Because we love you, reader, we’ll tell you that there’s a Hot Chicken Fest, celebrating the spicy Nashville poultry dish, at 5 p.m. at The Senate. Because we really love you, we won’t tell you about the, uh, gastroenteritic distress that befell us the last time we ate hot chicken. The music section has more on Will Hoge, the fest’s musical headliner.


Before West Side Story was a hit film starring the likes of Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, it was a hit musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Leonard Bernstein. Of course, before Laurents, Sondheim and Bernstein got their hands on it, it was a little play called Romeo and Juliet written by some dude named William Shakespeare. I guess what we’re trying to say is of course West Side Story would end up an iconic piece of Americana. The film screens — in its original aspect ratio — at 2 and 7 p.m. at Regal Columbiana Grande Stadium 14 and Regal Sandhill Stadium Cinema 16; tickets for either screening are $13.13. When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way: Visit for more information.


The late Anthony Bourdain understood that food was a sacred thing, the great equalizer endemic to all colors, classes, cultures and creeds. To waste even a speck of such sanctified manna was an act of sacrilege. “Go to any major chain supermarket and think about that tower of perfectly stacked, impeccable oranges or tomatoes, and understand that the supermarket by design has already figured and costed-out the fact — the immutable fact — that they will throw 30 percent in the garbage just so it will look cool,” he told The New York Times reporter Kim Severson last year. “This is horrifying.” Bourdain tackled the problem of food waste — targeting wasteful supermarkets, inefficient home cooks and people who rely solely on restaurant food — in Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste, a documentary he produced and narrated; it screens at the Nickelodeon Theatre tonight. Showtime is 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $11. Visit for more information.


The summer solstice was back on Thursday, which means we’re now officially entrenched in the sweltering dog days of summer. The Lexington County Blowfish take the phrase literally: Tonight is the team’s Dog Days Tuesday night, wherein canine companions get in for free with a paying human and participate in a post-game pooch parade. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.; tickets are $6 to $9. Oh, and the Blowfish play the Savannah Bananas, but if you’re anything like us, you stopped listening after we said “dog.” Visit for more information.


Verdi scholar Julian Budden describes the Italian composer’s Il Trovatore — literally: the troubadour — as a “sprawling melodrama flamboyantly defiant of the Aristotelian unities, packed with all manner of fantastic and bizarre incident.” To which we say: Sure. The opera screens at 7 p.m. at Regal Columbiana Grande Stadium 14 and Regal Sandhill Stadium Cinema 16 as part of the Summer Encores subset of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series. Tickets are $13.13; visit for more information.

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