What’s Hot This October: Festivals, Frights and Football
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2:00 PM by Dayna Cantelmi
It’s officially fall and that means a full lineup of festivals, concerts and Halloween fun to enjoy all month long (like, seriously say goodbye to downtime because you aren’t going to want to miss a thing). Keep reading for our comprehensive roundup below, then click through our calendar of events for even more things to do in Columbia SC this October (yes, there’s really more).
Arguably the best time of year to enjoy nature, make sure you carve out some time to spend in the open air at Congaree Swampfest or Pumpkin Picking at Clinton Sease Farm and Corn Maze.
Indulge in the best flavors of fall, be it fried foods galore at the South Carolina State Fair, seasonal crops at the October Harvest Dinner, comfort food at Bubble Q and BBQ Blues and Soul Fest, a sample of spirits at The Great American Whiskey Fair, craft brews during Pints at the Park or various bites from the region’s top culinary talent during Restaurant Week.
Show your pride at the Light It Up Night-Time Parade and Concert and 29th Annual Famously Hot SC Pride Festival.
Get your golf on at the 10th Annual Long’s Bar Stool Classic or celebrate a musical legend at Jerry Fest in Five Points.
Put on an air of mystery at Tapp’s Arts Center SpyBall or turn the heat up a notch at the 5th Annual Columbia Salsa Summit.
Shop for something handmade to take back home with you at City of Hop Fall Shenanigans Craft Fair or the 70th Annual Trinity Bazaar.
And follow the yellow brick road to the South Carolina State Museum and spend the night with Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion at Overnight in Oz.
All Hallow’s Eve
This month is all about frights, delights and things that go bump in the night. Take the little monsters out for some family fun at Boo at the Zoo, Halloween Hoopla at EdVenture and Will O’ the Wisp at Saluda Shoals Park.
Calling all witches and wizards – enter the magical world of Harry Potter as SC Philharmonic Presents, “Halloween at Hogwarts” followed by A Post-Concert Conjuring at Flying Saucer and Basement Hallows at The Whig.
Don your best costume and show it off at Growl at the Moon and A Free Times Halloween.
Rock out to more than just the Monster Mash at the Deadhead Masquerade Ball ft. Cosmic Charlie, A Ghouls Night Out, A Very Emo Halloween Party at New Brookland Tavern and “Fright Night” at Icehouse Amphitheater.
Fall under the Count’s trance at Columbia City Ballet Presents, “Dracula: Ballet with a Bite”.
Test your nerve against the terrors that await you at Deceased Farm. Plus, grab your squad and hit up Deceased Farm’s special Witch’s Night Out.
Let’s do the Time Warp again at the Rocky Horror Picture Show Festival.
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Learn about strange happenings, paranormal activity and superstitions in Lexington County during the Haunted History Halloween Program. #spooky
Performances and Productions
We’re not slowing down just yet! Get ready to do some dancing this month. Vista After Five and Rhythm on the River Fall Concert Series are back for the next few months.
Catch Edwin McCain and the Root Doctors at Icehouse Amphitheater.
Head to the South Carolina State Fair for performances by Tokyo Joe, Scotty McCreery, Bret Michaels, La Poderosa, Trace Adkins, Fantasia Barrino, The Temptations & The Four Tops and Jeremy Camp & Matthew West.
Breaking Benjamin, Modest Mouse Live and Newsboys United: Fall Tour 2018 will all take the stage at Township Auditorium this October.
The English Beat, Skizzy Mars: The Are You OK? Tour – Phase 2, Shovels & Rope, Anderson East, Riley Green, The Breeders, GTA and Sebastian Bach – The Original Voice of Skid Row will be rocking the house at The Senate at Tin Roof.
Country music fans will be sure to check out Chris Stapleton at Colonial Life Arena.
Enjoy the artistry of CMA Chamber Music on Main.
And nab your tickets now for Steep Canyon Rangers at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College.
Dabble in some drama this month! Celebrate Town Theatre’s 100th Anniversary with a special production of West Side Story. Say hello to Clarice as Trustus Theatre presents “Silence! The Musical.” Enjoy the classics with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and do it up like the Bard at Shakespeare in Love: The Play. Don’t miss Confessions of a Good Man 2 at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. Finally, give it up for Double Durang: an Evening of One-Acts by Christopher Durang.
Break a sweat for important causes at the Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, 5K + 10K, the Out of Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention and the Ray Tanner Home Run.
Cheer on the South Carolina Gamecocks as they face Missouri, Texas A&M and Tennessee at home this month.
Regularly Scheduled Programs
Whether they happen monthly or weekly, these recurring events will have you living like a local in Columbia SC. Peruse the Richland Library Farmers Market on Wednesdays, the City Roots Farmers Market on Thursday evenings and Soda City Market every Saturday for fresh produce, handmade goods and more.
Kick off the month with live music, food and drink specials and shopping at First Thursday on Main.
Columbia on Display
Run, don’t walk, to our museums, galleries, gardens and more this October as they shine a spotlight on fascinating history, art, sports and film.
Embrace the best of fall with The Scarecrows in the Garden Exhibit, John Daye, Carolina Football History Exhibit and Moonlight Cemetery & Secrets from the Grave Tours.
As the Columbia Museum of Art wraps up its major renovation project, you can still pop in for A Rock Star Tour and Tasting, Something’s Happening: The Big Art of Katie Bell, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Exposed, as well as the museum’s impressive permanent collection. Keep the art ball rolling with Brittany M. Watkins: AFFECT-ED, BEING at 701 CCA.
The South Carolina State Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, so stop in for the 30thAnniversary Exhibit, Fill in the Gap, South Carolina and Reconstruction, 1865 – 1876 and the return of the wildly popular The Museum of Oz.
Retrace the steps of history with a Historic USC Horseshoe Walking Tour or South Carolina State House Tour.
Channel your inner Indiana Jones with the Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival at Richland Library.
Need more Columbia SC travel inspo? Check out our Instagram.