Otter at Riverbanks

Riverbanks Zoo hosts several events through the year, including August’s Brew at the Zoo.


Apollo 50: Journey to the Moon | South Carolina State Museum, To mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, the South Carolina State Museum presents a new exhibition charting the history of NASA’s Apollo program and South Carolina’s role in lunar exploration.

Reflections on the River | South Carolina State Museum, Exhibition explores the significance of South Carolina rivers on culture, industry, and landscape, as well as the ways in which they have inspired artists in the state.

Jackson Pollock: Mural | Columbia Museum of Art, Through May 19. Through advanced technical imaging, conservators studied and treated the landmark painting, learning how it was created. Scientific results join the mural to fill two galleries with detailed looks into Pollock and his techniques.


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

Governor’s Cup | State House, May 17-18. Popular road-race event features 8K and half-marathon events.

Sweat | Trustus Theatre, May 17-June 1. Trustus puts on its production of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner.

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

Hozier | Township Auditorium, May 22. Irish singer-songwriter performs.

Star Wars With the S.C. Phil | Koger Center, May 22. The state’s marquee orchestra will take you to a galaxy far, far away with the music of Star Wars.

PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue | Colonial Life Arena, May 24-26. Touring performance featuring favorite characters from the popular children’s show.


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

Drift Jam | June 1. Flotilla music festival on Lake Murray. Come watch bands in a boat or on a float.

Southern Guitar Festival & Competition | June 7-9. Concerts, masterclasses, lectures and an international competition, with divisions for elementary/middle school, high school, and college/professional levels.

Conductors Institute | Koger Center, June 8-22. Aspiring conductors come to town from all over the country and beyond to hone their craft. Conducting sessions are open to the public.

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

Mimi Kato: Ordinary Sagas | Columbia Museum of Art, columbiamuseum. June 14-Sept. 8. Mimi Kato draws on the rich history and visual traditions of Japanese culture as well as the absurd everyday elements of contemporary life and merges them in imaginary landscapes.

Wow Pop Bliss: Jimmy Kuehnle’s Inflatable Art | Columbia Museum of Art, columbiamuseum. June 14-Sept. 8. Jimmy Kuehnle is a performance and sculpture-based artist who creates large-scale, high-tech inflatables. For this exhibition, Kuehnle is filling four special exhibition galleries with touchable, interactive environments.

Soda City Soulfest | Township Auditorium, June 15. Betty Wright, Clarence Carter, Theodis Ealy, Klass Band, and Lacee perform.

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.

Miss SC Pageant 2018 | Township Auditorium, June 25-29. The annual pageant competition returns to the Township.

Heathers, the Musical | Trustus Theatre, June 28-July 27. Based on the film written by Daniel Waters.

Lake Murray Independence Day Celebration | Lake Murray, June 29. Boat parade and fireworks extravaganza.

Columbia R&B Fest | Colonial Life Arena, June 30. Anthony Hamilton, Tamar Braxton, Jagged Edge, 112, Ginuwine, and Silk all perform.

Carolina Celebration of Liberty | First Baptist Church of Columbia, June 30. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Patriotic celebration and salute to the armed forces.


Lexington County Peach Festival | Gilbert, July 4. Fireworks! Peaches! Hurrah!

Bring It! Live | Township Auditorium, July 5. Featuring the Coach Dianna Williams and her team of Dancing Dolls.

Cirque du Soleil: Corteo | Colonial Life Arena, July 10-14. Famed avant-garde circus arts troupe comes to town.

Reggaetronic Lake Murray Music Festival | Spence Island, July 13. Another floating music festival on Lake Murray.

Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival | City Roots, July 13. Organized by Sustainable Midlands. Mmm … tomatoes!

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


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

Iyanla Vanzant | Township Auditorium, Aug. 3. Inspirational speaker and spiritual teacher comes to Columbia.

South Carolina Black Pride | Aug. 22-25. Community-focused celebration of the intersection of LGBTQ and black culture..

Soda City Comic Con | Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Aug. 10-11. Big comic convention includes comic book and toy vendors, special guests, cosplay contests.

The Raconteurs | Township Auditorium, Aug. 20. Rock band featuring Jack White and Brendan Benson comes to Columbia.

Summer Groove Fest | Township Auditorium, Aug. 24. Jeffrey Osborne, The Manhattans, Midnight Star, and The S.O.S. Band perform.

Montgomery | Trustus Theatre, Aug. 23-31. The 2018 Trustus Playwrights’ Festival winner.

Main Street Latin Festival | Main Street, downtown Columbia, TBA. 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.


Seeing Through Layers | Columbia Museum of Art, Sept. 6-Dec. 29. Maryanna Williams’ imagery creates a dialogue between simple forms and intricate patterns. In her prints she has explored moths, jellyfish, and even Italian Renaissance portraits.

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

Hootie & the Blowfish | Colonial Life Arena, Sept. 11-13. Famed Columbia-born rock band swings through on reunion tour with support from Barenaked Ladies.

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

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