Can you hear that? The sound of bells jingling and clicking cocktail glasses raised in a toast to the holiday season? The time for celebrating has arrived in Columbia SC. Make your list of holiday events and check it twice.

Holiday Spirits

When the clock strikes midnight on November 16thPublico Kitchen and Tap in Five Points transforms into Santa’s Pub. Come sip on their new seasonal cocktails, cozy up in an igloo, and enjoy the festivities, all the holiday décor, and tacky sweaters donned by staff.

All is Bright

Speaking of bright, Columbia SC light shows are a must this time of year. Take your pick from a walk on the wild side at Riverbanks Zoo’s Lights before Christmas or take in the Lights at the River at Saluda Shoals Park. If you’re looking for a lights show downtown, the South Carolina State Fairgrounds is once again hosting Carolina Lights. Load up the car, grab a cup of hot cocoa and get in the holiday spirit. New to the holiday lights scene is Fireflies Holiday Lights, hosted at Segra Park in the BullStreet District. From November 19th-December 31st, come see the ballpark decked out in over one million LED lights and discover holiday shopping, kids crafts and activities, and holiday-themed food and drinks.


It wouldn’t be the holidays without a slew of traditions that get you feeling jolly. We’ve heard it said that Christmas in South Carolina doesn’t officially start until the annual Governor’s Carolighting. On the steps of the South Carolina State House, you’ll enjoy musical numbers, a visit from Santa, sweet treats, and more as we light the 16-foot tree that sits on the corner of Gervais and Main on Sunday, November 20th at 6 pm.

For more holiday merriment, Vista Lights is sure to have your sprits bright with local performances, holiday shops, beer and bites. They close down all of Gervais Street for this shindig, so make sure it’s on your calendar this year to join in on the fun on November 17th.

Lexington’s annual Snowball Festival Carnival will be hosted on December 3rd and features face painting, letters to Santa, and more at Icehouse Amphitheater. Be sure to stay after to watch Elf the movie!

Shop Local

You know, it wouldn’t be a Columbia SC Christmas without shopping local. Pick up gifts for everyone on your list starting at Devine Day and Night Out on November 10th. Shops and boutiques will stay open until 8 to help make sure you get everything you need.

This is just a sampling of the many festive events coming your way. If you’d like to have your holiday event listed on our calendar of events, please complete this form.