Can we all just agree that October is the best month of the year? If you still need convincing, check out our roundup of all the amazing things happening in Columbia SC this month or look through our calendar of events and you’ll be a believer in no time. 

Autumnal Activities

We all know fall can sometimes be fleeting in the South, so get your fill via food, festivals, farmers markets and more this month.

Fall flavors abound at the 32nd Annual Five Points Chili Cookoff, Shuck N’ Shag, 2019 SC Korean Festival, Oyster Roast & Low Country Boil w/ River Rat Brewery at The Grand and at eateries all over town during Restaurant Week.

October features festivals of all stripes. You won’t want to miss First Thursday on Main, which is said to boast an Oktoberfest theme this time. Concert-goers will appreciate Jerryfest 2019, Jam Room Music Festival and the Rosewood Art and Music Festival. Love is love at the 30th Annual Famously Hot South Carolina Pride Festival. Enjoy a free vintage circus and treats like a birthday cake funnel cake to commemorate the 150th Annual South Carolina State Fair. For a much different type of fair, get your sampling glass at the ready for the Great American Whiskey Fair 2019.

Finally, take home handmade goods and fresh harvest picks at Soda City Market, Sandhill Farmers Market or the brand-new Meeting Street Artisan Market in West Columbia.

Celebrate Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, with the Columbia Museum of Art during their Diwali Kick-Off Party. The night will feature henna tattoos, authentic Indian cuisine from 2Gingers, an information table manned by UofSC’s Indian Student Organization, gallery tours and more. 


Prost with the Most

Rest assured that we’re keeping the Oktoberfest season going for as long as we possibly can. Keep your steins full all month long at Columbia Craft’s Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest Columbia at Incarnation Lutheran Church, City Market Oktoberfest, CMA Contemporaries’ Beer and Brats on Boyd, Blythewood Oktoberfest and Bierkeller at Riverfront Park. If samples are more your speed, top off your tasting glass at Hops & Harvest Craft Beer Festival.

The Spirit of Halloween

The spookiest season is upon us once more and we want to know – where will you be when the witching hour strikes?

Perhaps you’ll be at a party. Witch, Please! A Halloween Launch Party, A Free Times Halloween, Tinderella’s Ball at Tin Roof and the Spooky Halloween Bash at The Senate are all guaranteed to be a scream.

Speaking of screams, plenty are to be had at Deceased Farm – an intense and immersive horror experience that’s not for the faint of heart – or during Spirits Alive! Moonlight Cemetery & Secrets from the Grave Tour.

Revisit Bram Stoker’s classic gothic tale through dance as Columbia City Ballet presents “Dracula: Ballet with a Bite.”

Or, collect your costume-clad kids for some family-friendly celebrations at Boo at the Zoo, Halloween Hoopla at EdVenture, Trunk or Treat at Irmo Community Park, a special screening of Hocus Pocus at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College and a jaunt through the adorable Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit at Robert Mills House and Garden.

October Soundtrack

From free outdoor concerts to well-known names, the live music options are certainly not lacking this month.

Head to Tin Roof every Thursday for the popular Vista After Five series or skip across the river to the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater every Friday evening for the Rhythm on the River concert series. Both of which are free to attend!

Swing by The Senate to see Perpetual Groove, Yacht Rock Revue, Helmet, Gin Blossoms and Who’s Bad.

Get your tickets for Alison Krauss or Fantasia – The Sketchbook Tour at Township Auditorium and America’s Got Talent alum Brian Justin Crum at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College.

Who doesn’t love Dueling Pianos? Check ‘em out at 1626 on Main during First Thursday.

Feel the music at the BBQ Blues & Soul Concert 2019 or Baker & Baker presents: Jazz with Noel Freidline.

Talent Showcase

Catch entertainers in action this month with a night out at the theatre or at a comedy show.

Settle into your seat and turn your attention to the stage for a production of Company at Trustus Theatre, Stories of Dislocation at the Center for Performance Experiment, A Nice Family Gathering at Firehouse Theatre, C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert at Koger Center for the Arts and Much Ado About Nothing at Drayton Hall Theatre.

Have some laughs with Brian Posehn Live at New Brookland Tavern and The Brewery Comedy Tour at Swamp Cabbage.


Whether you’re supporting the various causes or simply want to get a good workout in, there are a number of walks and races going on around town this month. Lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2019, Go Leo at Saluda Shoals Park, the 2019 Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, 5K + 10K and the 2019 Ray Tanner Home Run. Take some time for yourself and rejuvenate before the week ahead during Self-Care Sunday at Columbia Museum of Art. And enjoy the athleticism on display at Williams-Brice Stadium for USC Gamecock Football vs. Florida.



Run, don’t walk, to Columbia Museum of Art this month as their latest exhibit, Van Gogh and His Inspirations, makes its big debut. Come back again and again for special programming like Mrudani School of Performing Arts Presents The Classical Arts of India, Stop-In Studios, Art Class: Paper Lanterns, Harlem South: A View Through the Lens,  and their Focal Points series – Proud Perspectives, Temas en la Coleccion, Brush with Death, In the Cards and Please Be Seated.

Channel your inner Indiana Jones during Archaeology Fall Field Day at Cayce Riverwalk 12,000 Year History Trail.

Follow the yellow brick road to the South Carolina State Museum as Museum of Oz makes its delightful return. Immerse yourself in the experience during Overnight in Oz, too.

Don’t miss out on Dinosaurs Around the World at Riverbanks Zoo, as this is the last month the exhibit and interactive experience will be on display.

Spend some time on the UofSC campus and meander through Thank You! Love, McKissick, Abstract Art from the Permanent Collection and Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection at McKissick Museum.