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    Experience Columbia

    From food festivals to holiday celebrations and all kinds of gamedays in between, there’s nothing short of a full line up of events to be found in the heart of SC. Thanks to our region’s temperate climate and sunny days, Columbia is a year-round destination for events where you’ll find something happening most weekends. Keep reading and mark your calendars as we break down some our community’s must-attend events throughout the year!



    For over 30 years, a special part of the city gets more green than usual for St. Pat’s in Five Points, one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day festivals in the Southeast. Featuring a daylong lineup of bands, a fun run, and a wee bit o’ parade in the morning, this festival has a little something for everyone.


    Keep your kilts and bagpipes handy and head to the weekend-long celebration of Celtic culture and heritage, The Tartan Day South Festival. Showcasing the traditions of Ireland, Scotland and England through music, athletics and dancing, this will be the perfect place to honor your lineage and learn more about history. Sip on a Guinness while watching classic sheepdog herding or place your bets on sword fights.


    While it’s typical of The Vista to be buzzing, it comes alive with extra vibrancy during Artista Vista each spring when the galleries keep their doors open later and public art spills out into the streets to bring culture in reach for everyone. 


    You might be surprised to hear it, but crawfish are kind of a big deal around here – at least during the Rosewood Crawfish Festival. With 10,000 pounds of crawfish and a healthy dose of other Cajun and Southern food favorites, plus a day full of live music, this is a party your crew won’t want to miss.



    While we’re not a coastal town, when it comes to shrimp and grits, there are lots to be had in Columbia SC. You can find out who has the best and enjoy live music at the Columbia Shrimp and Grits Fest.


    Locals know that no matter what day of the week the Fourth of July falls on, the Lexington County Peach Festival will happen, rain or shine. This long-running celebration of America and one of South Carolina’s top crops brings people of all ages out for a parade, tasty peach treats galore and a spectacular fireworks show to top it off.


    Speaking of fireworks, follow the locals to Lake Murray for the annual Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration on July 4th. Catch the parade of boats embellished with their patriotism during the day, then the dazzling displays light up the night sky and are reflected in the water’s rippling surface, making this show one to plan for.


    The Main Street Latin Festival spices up the city with an authentic street fair that celebrates the huge impact that Latinx culture has on South Carolina. From food and music to dancing and art, attendees can get a real taste of the variety, vim and vigor of this culture.



    Experience Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture with Historic Columbia, which brings together artisans, dancers, storytellers, and musicians to celebrate the deeply interwoven ties of African American history in our city.


    The city brightens up and paints the town rainbow for the weekend of the Famously Hot SC Pride Festival. It’s an epicenter for entertainment with dynamite performers – think Lil’ Kim, Natasha Bedingfield and Jordin Sparks as past headliners. Combine that with a night parade and a positive, creative culture, and you’ve got a recipe for breaking attendance records every year.


    Considered by many to be a signature Columbia music festival, Jam Room Music Festival includes food trucks, craft beer and live music featuring genres from bluegrass to heavy metal and everything in between. It all comes together as a free street festival on Main Street. 


    Fried Oreos, rides, carnival games and bright, Insta-worthy photos mean it’s time for the South Carolina State Fair. This Columbia tradition is a statewide celebration of family fun and getting back to being a kid.



    When there’s a chill in the air, take in the Holiday Lights on the River display at Saluda Shoals Park, starting in November and running through December. Stay in the warmth of your car with hot chocolate and snacks as you wind through the sparkling displays.


    ‘Twas the Lights Before Christmas and all through the zoo, the animals were stirring and people were, too. Each holiday season, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden puts on a magical display of twinkling lights of every color, and in every shape of animal, that captures your imagination and instantly gets you in the holiday spirit.


    The Vista starts to shimmer a little extra during Vista Lights—a kickoff to the holiday season that highlights the best of The Vista’s art galleries and retail shops, as well as brings merriment in the form of live performances and great bites and sips.