Spring is such a wonderful time to be in the south – the flowers are in full bloom, crepe myrtles are waking up from their slumber, and the temperature is just perfect for enjoying outdoor activities with friends and family. We can’t wait to head out to see the Columbia Fireflies first home game of the season, stroll The Vista for one-of-a-kind paintings and sculptures, and enjoy all the amazing food that the South Carolina Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival will have to offer. What will you explore around the Midlands this April?
Gardening and Outdoors
2016 Gardening Symposium – The Robert Mills House and Gardens in Columbia will be hosting the 2016 Garden Symposium on Saturday, April 9th from 8:30am – 2:30pm. There will be three separate 45-minute long workshops led by Roger Winn of Roger’s Heirlooms, Eric Shealy of the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Dr. John Nelson of USC’s A.C. Moore Herbarium, and Columbia Horticulturist Keith Mearns. There will also be an optional tour at 1:00pm of the historic horseshoe at the University of South Carolina.
2016 Spring Midlands Plant and Flower Festival – Looking to add some curb appeal to your home? Head over to the South Carolina State Farmers Market for the 2016 Spring Midlands Plant and Flower Festival. The event will run from Thursday, April 14th – Sunday, April 17th and will feature a wide array of flowers, shrubs, trees, fruits and vegetables, and garden equipment available for purchase. Hours are 8:00am – 6:00pm Thursday through Saturday and 10:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday.
Sports and Recreation
Walk Like MADD – Support a great cause while getting out for some exercise for the Walk Like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) 5k at Saluda Shoals Park on Saturday, April 9th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Registration is $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 5-18. Proceeds go towards eliminating drunk driving. If you are unable to attend, you can still make a donation to another registered walker or team.
Color Run 5K – Add a little color to your life by registering for the 2016 Color Run 5K. The untimed event will take place on Saturday, April 16th at 9:00am in Finlay Park where thousands of participants will be doused in different colors at each kilometer. The fun continues after the race with a Finish Festival that features live music, dancing, and you guessed it…more color!
Columbia Fireflies – The Columbia Fireflies kick off their first home game of the season on Thursday, April 14th vs. the Greenville Drive at 7:05pm. They’ll be home through Wednesday, April 20th when they play the Charleston RiverDogs before they hit the road again. Click here for the full 2016 schedule of the Class “A” Affiliate of the New York Mets.
Culture and Performing Arts
Columbia International Festival – Celebrate the various cultures and nationalities of those in South Carolina by attending the Columbia International Festival at the SC State Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 16th from 10:00am – 7:00pm and Sunday, April 17th from 12:00pm – 6:00pm. Interact with your fellow community members while enjoying diverse music, food, and entertainment from cultural performers and national exhibitors. Admission is $7 and children 12 and under, as well as activity military personnel are free.
Artista Vista – Columbia’s premier art neighborhood, The Vista, hosts its 25th annual Artista Vista gallery crawl from Thursday, April 21st – Saturday, April 23rd. Participating galleries will not only showcase their paintings, jewelry, and sculptures, but will also offer refreshments and hors d’oeuvres to visitors for a truly inviting experience. The event is free for all to enjoy and free parking will also be available in the Vista’s parking decks.
Disney On Ice: Frozen – If you’re a fan of Disney’s Frozen, then you’ll love watching your favorite characters Anna and Elsa come to life when Disney on Ice: Frozen comes to Colonial Life Arena Thursday, April 14th through Sunday, April 17th with various day and evening performances. The show will feature the Academy Award winning movie’s hit songs “Let it go,” “Fixer Upper,” and more! Tickets range from $16 up to $58 for rinkside seating.
River Rocks Music Festival – Looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday outside with family and friends while supporting a great cause? River Rocks Music Festival is Congaree Riverkeeper’s annual fundraiser that allows attendees the opportunity to learn about river conservation through fun and educational activities. This year’s festival will be held in the field next to the Columbia Canal at Canalside Lofts and will feature music by Sol Driven Train, The Marcus King Band, and The Empire Strikes Brass. Tickets are $12 when purchased in advance and $15 at the gate. Kids under 12 are free and can enjoy balloon art, a rock climbing wall, and bounce house.
Food and Wine
South Carolina Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival – Head over to the SC State Fairgrounds on April 30th for the 2nd Annual South Carolina Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival. The event will be held from 11:00am – 7:00pm and will feature local craft beers, live music, and amazing fare from over 25 food trucks. General admission tickets are only $5 when purchased in advance and $10 the day of the event (children under 12 are free).
Sweet and Savory Chef’s Competition – Enjoy a night of tasting sweet and savory dishes made by local chefs at the annual Sweet & Savory Chef’s Competition. The event is hosted by Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter and will be held on Saturday, April 28th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at the SC State Museum. Featured participants include Chef Michael Stuckey of The Southern Way, Chef Dave Grillo of Cantina 76, Chef Ben Perzan and Chef Arie Shenkar of the Mediterranean Tea Room, and more. Tickets are $40 per person or $75 for couples.
Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science – Following the success of his “Edible Inevitable” tour, American television personality, best selling author, and Food Network host, Alton Brown comes to the Koger Theater on Friday, April 8th at 7:30pm for Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science. Fans can expect to be entertained by original songs, multimedia presentations, and wild food demonstrations from the eclectic host. Tickets range from $39 up to $150 for VIP seating.