Thank goodness it’s a Leap Year, because we need all the time we can get to cram in all the incredible events and programming going on around town this month. From various cultural celebrations and commemorations to festivals, island escapes, live entertainment and all the chili you can eat, it’s clear that just one extra day isn’t enough for everything the Heart of SC has in store this February.

Tiki Week at Bourbon (Oasis) | Jan. 31 – Feb. 17

If you’re like us and waited with bated breath all last year for some 2023 Tiki Week dates just for none to appear, don’t fret – Tiki Week has returned and is back to its regularly scheduled wintertime programming. Over the next few weeks, catch us with our Zombie and Island Chupacabra cocktails in hand, nibbling on some island-inspired eats and forgetting all about the chill outside as we while away the hours at the Bourbon Oasis. 


More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series Featuring Tammy Kernodle at Columbia Museum of Art | Feb. 2

The CMA’s popular concert series returns for another installment this year, kicking off with singer and pianist Tammy Kernodle for a trio performance of “She Sang Freedom.” The evening begins with a discussion between Kernodle and series host Dr. Birgitta Johnson and then moves into the musical portion. Be sure to check out some of the museum’s Black History Month programming, as well, including Art in Focus with Dr. Frank Martin and FAAAC Presents Black Art Pokeno.


34th Annual Chili Cook-Off at Taneyhill’s Group Therapy | Feb. 3

Warm up over seemingly endless cups of chili at this long-running Five Points tradition. Put your palate to the test and see how home cooks stack up against seasoned local chefs as all are welcome to compete, but only one can be crowed the “Chili Champion.” 


Columbia Jewish Film Festival at The Nick | Feb. 6, 13, 18, 20 and 25

Featuring six films throughout the month – Remembering Gene Wilder; Farewell, Mr. Haffmann; Queen of the Deuce; Simone: A Woman of the Century; Barren and Hope Without Boundaries – the Columbia Jewish Film Festival aims to highlight and celebrate cinema that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish experience. Check out one or more of these movies and join in the conversation regarding the language, history and contemporary issues involving the Jewish community. 


14th Annual Mardi Gras Columbia Festival at City Roots | Feb. 10

Get an early jump on Fat Tuesday and head on down to City Roots, where the Abita will be flowing and the good times will be rolling. Bring your beads and participate in or simply spectate the morning parade, then enjoy a full day of live music and Cajun-Creole cuisine. 


Chinese New Year at Boku Kitchen and Saloon | Feb. 10

Ring in the Year of the Dragon at Boku in the Vista. There’ll be no countdown to midnight at this celebration, as Chinese New Year, which follows the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, has its own traditions. Welcome in the luck and prosperity of a new year with a reservation to feast upon Boku’s menu with friends and loved ones, as well as enjoy a celebratory shot, a special Chinese New Year gift from Boku, an onsite DJ and a chance to win gift certificates during this afternoon event. 


Amore Under the Stars at South Carolina State Museum | Feb. 14

If you’ve yet to make Valentine’s Day plans, this is your sign to stop putting it off until the last minute and start ordering tickets for an enchanting evening at the South Carolina State Museum. Enjoy catered eats, a champagne bar, live jazz, night sky observing and an exclusive planetarium laser show, aka all the makings for a romantic and memorable evening. 


2024 Lexington Chili Cookoff at Icehouse Amphitheater | Feb. 18

If you somehow didn’t get your fill in Five Points earlier this month, there’s plenty of chili still to be had. Hop over to Lexington, where the folks at Old Mill Brew Pub, the Lexington County Blowfish and the Town of Lexington have joined forces for a day of unlimited samples and live music.


Gladys Knight: Farewell Tour at Township Auditorium | Feb. 23

Join ten-time Grammy Award-winner and “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight as she makes a stop at Township Auditorium along her farewell tour. Sing along to all her hits and give a toast to her trailblazing career. 


19th Annual Black History Parade & Festival at Martin Luther King Jr. Park | Feb. 24

Get the whole family together and gather at the corner of Harden and Hampton streets as this year’s Grand Marshal, Senator Tameka Isaac-Devine, gets the parade going, then make your way over to Martin Luther King Jr. Park for the statewide-celebrated party filled with vendors, music headlined by Southern soul artist Mr. David, educational activities and more. 


Shuckin’ on the Shoals Oyster Roast at Saluda Shoals Park | Feb. 24

Shuck, slurp and support Saluda Shoals Park at their annual oyster roast. Bring your gloves and shuckin’ knife and work up an appetite for all-you-can-eat fresh steamed oysters and shrimp, plus an array of sides, craft beer and wine. You may even go home a raffle prize winner, too. 


Hamilton at Koger Center for the Arts | Feb. 27 – March 12

Don’t throw away your shot to see Hamilton make its Columbia debut beginning this month and running into next. Long-awaited and highly anticipated, this Broadway darling is poised for a very warm welcome to what we like to think is the true greatest city in the world (move over, New York).


Kick-Off to St. Pat’s at Five Points Fountain | Feb. 29

They say legends aren’t born; they’re made. And that’s certainly true when it comes to the iconic green fountain that serves as the centerpiece to the annual St. Pat’s in Five Points festival. Come make greatness happen and help dye the fountain, officially kickstarting the countdown to St. Pat’s.