World Beer Festival
In a town with a growing population that enjoys a dynamic beer selection, this festival is quickly becoming a must-do for beer enthusiasts and novices alike.
Palladium Society Chili Cook-Off
Historically held the last Saturday of February, this festival showcases some of Columbia’s most creative chili recipes, as well as live music and beverages.
Taste of Lake Murray
The sole fundraiser for the 4th of July fireworks display on Lake Murray, this festival offers a formidable array of food, as well as auctions and live music.
Central Carolina Food and Wine Festival Gala
April 1, 2011
The culminating event for the annual festival features more than 200 wines and food from 18 Midlands restaurants, as well as samples of cakes from the finalists in Columbia Metropolitan’s Top Cake Contest.
(803) 254-5601, ext. 327
April 1 to 3, 2011
This three-day festival showcases the music, culture, food and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities, races and language groups represented in South Carolina.
The Big Nosh, Tree of Life Jewish Cultural Festival
April 10, 2011
Come make challah, bite a knish, blow a shofar, dance the hora and much more. This annual event celebrates everything Jewish, including good, entertainment and education.
Wine Tasting at the Zoo
April 15, 2011
Listen to live jazz, sample light bites from local restaurants and gab about grapes with wine experts, all in one of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring public gardens.
The 6th Annual Rosewood Crawfish Festival
April 30, 2011
Lovers of all things Creole and Cajun are invited to visit Rosewood Drive and take part in one of the city’s favorite celebrations, featuring 7,000 pounds of fresh Louisiana-grown crawfish. “Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!”
Who would have guessed Columbia had so many BBQ festivals? Starting in April, all around the Midlands, Columbians can get their “pig” on.
For a complete listing of events, visit
The Capital City Music and Wing Fling
May 14, 2011
In its third year, this event will be held at the historic Robert Mills House in downtown Columbia. This exciting new location promises an element of beauty and South Carolina history, as well as some of Columbia’s best chicken wings and live music.
Ribs and Renaissance Festival
June 4, 2011
Created originally as a gathering for North Columbia residents, this festival takes place at the corner of North Main Street and Monticello Road. Along with a Best Ribs in SC Cook-Off, the festival features live music, arts and crafts, a kid’s area and a 5K race.
Gilbert Peach Festival
July 4, 2011
This all-day celebration at Gilbert Community Park honors the queen of all fruits, the peach with live entertainment, a Peachy Recipe contest, plenty of food and BBQ and even a fireworks display.
2nd Annual Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival
July 17, 2011
Celebrate the incredible taste of South Carolina’s heirloom tomato varieties at the height of tomato season. Local celebrity judges, a homegrown tomato contest, an all-local tomato potluck, live music, cold beverages, amazing food, tomato bobbing and the wildly popular Chuck-the-Commercial-Tomato Skee Ball game return this year at the only urban farm in South Carolina.
Blythewood Balloons, Blues and BBQ
The largest balloons, blues and BBQ festival in S.C., this three-day festival has music, food and opportunities for tethered hot-air balloon rides. The Glowing – when balloons are lit internally and appear as huge ornaments in the night sky – is a must-see.
Brew at the Zoo
August 6, 2011
The perfect remedy to a muggy day in the Midlands – samples of cold, frothy beer. From domestics to imports to specialty micros, guests can choose their brew and meander through the Zoo or hang out in the plaza and listen to live music.
Main Street Latin Festival
The streets downtown Columbia will be filled with the sights and sounds of salsa, merengue, reggaeton, grupero music and folkloric dancers. Of course there is plenty of Latin Food for tasting and enjoying as well.
September 15 to 18, 2011
In its 25th year, the Greek Festival is a Columbia favorite, featuring live Greek music indoors and outdoors, as well as dancing and delicacies.
Irmo Okra Strut
September 24 to 25, 2011
Beginning with a Dam Run over Lake Murray, this two-day festival offers plenty of amusements and performances, including a street dance, okra-eating contests, okra-fitti art, and of course, plenty of fried okra!
Viva La Vista
September 25, 2011
Covering nearly four city blocks, the event celebrates fall with live music, beverages, gourmet cuisine, exotic beer and wine from the neighborhood’s finest establishments.
Fall Heritage Festival and Pickin’ Party
October 15, 2011
This festival features four styles of BBQ favorites, bluegrass music, plenty of folk arts and crafts and pumpkin-related activities for the kids.
Italian Festival and Bocce Tournament
October 22, 2011
Along with a bocce tournament and plenty of entertainment, such as dancing and puppet shows, there is also a plethora of Italian foods and dolci (sweets/desserts), and even an Italian fresh air market.
25th Annual Group Therapy Chili Cook-Off
October 22, 2011
Benefiting a number of local charities, this Group Therapy event continues to grow each year. After all, along with BBQ, Columbians love their chili!
The State Fair
October 12 to 23, 2011
Locals are known to wait all year for the State Fair and pay entry just for the food: Fiske Fries, Elephant Ears and Fried Snickers are among a few of the infamous delicacies.
16th Annual Oyster Festival
With live music, a children’s area and historic house museum tours, this autumn celebration of a favorite mollusk happens to be Columbia’s largest oyster festival.
Gaston Collard Festival
November 4 to 5, 2011
With plenty of collard dishes to sample and a variety of entertainment, visitors are certain to find a collard recipe worth sharing with family and friends on New Year’s Day.
West Columbia St. Nicholas Festival
December 3, 2011
At this unique offering, the Russian Café sells a delicious sampling of traditional foods, and vendors will have crafts and collectibles for gift shopping. Children can get a peek at the attire and legacy behind St. Nicholas, who will be there for pictures and handing out chocolate coins.