Tapp’s Art Center

Wednesday Dec. 4

Patrick and Topher’s Variety Show is Columbia’s only weekly live talk show and podcast, and the newly-opened Comedy Closet in West Columbia is a natural home base for the duo. In classic radio fashion, Patrick and Topher break up their banter with a host of segments, from guest interviews to audience participation games. This week’s guest is manga librarian and cosplayer Jessica McCartha. Seating starts at 8 p.m., show at 8:30. Find out more at thecomedycloset.com. — Kyle Petersen

Thursday Dec. 5

The last First Thursday on Main of the year is typically a big one, as folks head out to the monthly art and drink and entertainment crawl in search of gifts and good cheer, and this December edition is no different. Looming largest are the final First Thursday festivities at Tapp’s Arts Center before it finishes moving out and becomes Tapp’s Outpost down in Five Points. Starting at 6 p.m., per the Facebook event, the center will look to “find all of the abandoned art homes for the holidays,” and “beer and wine will be for sale, there will be art set out in the hallways, there will be music playing, and probably a lot of hugs.” Go give a toast to one of the brightest spots on Columbia’s cultural landscape these last few years. In addition, there will once more be an impressive concert on Boyd Plaza outside the Columbia Museum of Art, this time featuring favorite local songwriter Ben Walker and Invisible Low End Power (led by in-demand Charleston producer Wolfgang Zimmerman). For a full list of First Thursday’s December programming, which goes from 6 to 10 p.m., head to firstthursdayonmain.com. — Jordan Lawrence

Friday Dec. 6

Lexington becomes Christmas Town Thursday through Sunday with the annual Snowball Festival, featuring a host of activities of which the proverbial tree-topper is the tree lighting and carnival in the Lexington Square tonight at the corner of East Main Street and South Lake Drive starting at 6 p.m. S’mores, hot chocolate, face painting, a live concert and a caricature artist will be on hand to bring the seasonal vibes, plus Santa and Mrs. Claus are landing at Columbia Metropolitan Airport specifically flying into town for a meet and greet with the good boys and girls of the Midlands. More info available at lexingtonsc.org. — Kyle Petersen

Saturday Dec. 7

The Columbia Museum of Art continues its CinéCola film series, which is sponsored by the Alliance Française of Columbia and highlights forward-thinking French cinema, today. It screens Rémi sans familie, which follows a young orphan’s adventures through France with an itinerant musician, his faithful dog, and his monkey, at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Visit columbiamuseum.org for more information. — Patrick Wall

Sunday Dec. 8

Jazz promoter Chaye Alexander (of Chayz Lounge fame) once again brings jazz tunes to Main Street at Boyd Plaza, this time with Mike Frost & Company, featuring the magnetic singer and saxophonist Lauren Meccia. BYOC (bring-your-own-chair), with a cash bar, food and hot cocoa all available for purchase. The free show starts at 3 p.m., with the collections gallery at the adjoining Columbia Museum of Art also free to peruse from 3 to 5 p.m. Santa hats optional but encouraged. Find more info at columbiamuseum.org.

Kyle Petersen

Started 14 years ago by longtime Free Times contributor Kevin Oliver, the annual Christmas at Red Bank concert mixes the traditional and nontraditional, its performers sprinkling secular tunes among the ancient devotionals and spirituals of the Christmas season. This year, those performers include Brent Lundy, Buck and Rhonda Mooneyhan, Band of Pilgrims, Todd Mathis, Jeremy Scott, Sofia Lynch, Tom Coolidge, Matt and Becky Goudelock, Common Thread, James Etheridge Jr., Prettier Than Matt, Admiral Radio, and Brian Conner. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. at Red Bank United Methodist Church; admission is free, but donations, the proceeds of which benefit Mission Lexington, are encouraged. Visit facebook.com/ChristmasAtRedBank for more information. — Patrick Wall

Monday Dec. 9

If your family is into staring at bright things while moving slowly in a vehicle of some kind, then boy do we have some good news. There’s a new Christmas light spectacular in town, namely the Carolina Lights display at the Lexington Medical Center Fair Park. Pacify your cranky family today with the pretty lights. Admission is $20 for cars, $35 for mini-buses (meaning 9-24 passengers), and $70 for any vehicle with 25 passengers or more. Visit scstatefair.org/carolina-lights for more info. — Vincent Harris

Tuesday Dec. 10

Welcome to the first night of Jingle Bell Jazz at Trustus Theatre, a swinging Christmas-themed event (not that kind of swinging, you perv) featuring local trumpeter and scene leader Mark Rapp alongside saxophonist Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, a longtime collaborator of Wynton Marsalis. This ain’t your granddaddy’s Christmas show, unless your granddaddy was into a red-hot alto sax, organ, trumpet and drums quartet playing jazz, in which case he’d probably really enjoy this. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets are $35. Visit trustus.org for more info. — Vincent Harris

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, and we’ll say it now: Listening to public radio staple Rudy Mancke talk about wildlife is one of the most quintessentially South Carolina experiences you can have. The University of South Carolina’s naturalist-in-residence reprises his free quarterly lunch hour talk — this one appropriately titled The Nature of Winter — in front of McKissick Museum on the Horseshoe at noon. Visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum for more information. — Patrick Wall

Wednesday Dec. 11

The 2019 film The Last Tree is not, in fact, about someone who waited way too long to go buy a Christmas tree. It’s actually a semi-autobiographical film directed by Shola Amoo about a British boy of Nigerian descent named Femi who moves to inner-city London to live with his birth mother. As Femi attempts to acclimate to the values and culture of his newfound home, he also begins building his own identity. The Nickelodeon Theatre will show The Last Tree at 7 p.m. this evening. Tickets are $11. Visit nickelodeon.org for more info. — Vincent Harris

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