Fair warning: before you dive into this comprehensive roundup of April events, you may want to grab a drink or a snack, maybe do some stretches and definitely get comfy, because this month is an absolute doozy in the best way. The slow trickle of returning events is officially over and I know we often say there are more things to do than there are hours to do them, but that claim has probably never been more credible than it is now. Take one last look at your nice, clear calendar and then get ready to see the days fill up (and up and up) with all the happenings you won’t want to miss in Columbia SC this April.

It’s Raining Festivals

It’s safe to say you won’t go hungry this month as you flit from festival to festival. Get your fill of shellfish at Shuck n’ Swing: Jazz and Bluegrass Oyster Roast at South Carolina State Museum or the Peak Drift Oyster Roast at Smoked. Enjoy a couple days of satellite events on the first Friday and Saturday of the month leading up to the Grand Tasting on Sunday during the Columbia Food and Wine Festival. If you want to focus on just the wine, then the Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden might be more your speed. Food and atmosphere go hand in hand at the April Harvest Dinner at City Roots and Dining on the Dam. Can't wait until October to get your fair food fix? No need to fret - get your hands on all your deep-fried favorites without even having to leave your car with the return of the Spring Fair Food Drive-Through at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds. Get gussied up in the name of land conservation at the Game & Garden Soiree at Senate's End or keep it casual at the 7th Annual South Carolina Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival and Taco & Tequila Crawl: Columbia. Bring the whole crew out for Final Table’s Free Family, Food + Fun Outdoor Expo at Boyd Plaza.

Venture across the river into the Cayce and West Columbia districts. The 10th Annual Tartan Day South is a four-day celebration of Celtic heritage at the Historic Columbia Speedway. Enjoy some family-friendly fun at The City of Cayce’s Soiree on State or West Columbia’s 3rd Annual Kinetic Derby Day. The South Carolina State Famers Market in West Columbia will satisfy all your seasonal needs with the Midlands Spring Plant & Flower Festival and 2022 Spring Fling at the Market. If your green thumb is still twitching for more, then you won't want to miss Cayce's Spring Plant Exchange.

Art is absolutely everywhere this April. Get a peek behind the curtain of where local artists get their creativity flowing during Columbia Open Studios. Visit Columbia Museum of Art after hours for a night of live music, food trucks, craft beer and gallery hopping with the triumphant return of Arts & Draughts. Shop straight from nearly a hundred artists and makers at Historic Melrose Art in the Yard. Feast your eyes on French-themed fashion during Jour de la Mode at Seibels House and Garden. And last, but certainly not least, three days of festivities like an Art Gallery Crawl, Light and Lantern Parade, Art Day, Crafty Feast and Live on Lincoln make up the 30th Annual Artista Vista. 

Spring shopping never looked so good. Seek out fresh produce and handmade goods at Soda City Market or Meeting Street Artisan Market or go on a thrifty treasure hunt at The NoMa Flea or The Big Flea 2022. 

Relive your childhood and spend some time with the kids at Columbia Brick Con or the Columbia Comic, Toy & Collectibles Expo. 

Throw on your cowboy boots, Wrangler jeans and Western hat for a night of rootin’ tootin’ revelry at the 12th Annual Blythewood DOKO Rodeo.

Make your way down Main Street visiting restaurants and bars, listening to live music, shopping and more during First Thursday on Main.

EdVenture’s granting you front row access to the Easter Bunny at Eggstravaganza, so put your tots in their best pastels and bring them in for photos, an Easter egg hunt and more. 

Center Stage

In the spotlight this month, you’ll find a robust mix of stage acts. Get your tickets for big Broadway productions like The Lion King and Waitress at Koger Center for the Arts

More intimate performances this month include Bright Star at Town Theatre and “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare at Longstreet Theater. 

Laugh until your face hurts during Rickey Smiley & Friends at Township Auditorium, David Feherty – Live Off Tour! at Koger Center and Katt Williams World War III Tour at Colonial Life Arena.

Dance it out at Koger Center for R/Evolutions in Movement or Drayton Hall Theatre for the UofSC Dance Student Choreography Showcase.

Athletic Entertainment

Fill up the seats in Colonial Life Arena to cheer for big trucks and basketball tricks at Monster Jam and the Harlem Globetrotters: Spread Game Tour. 

Get loud and get lit at Segra Park for the Columbia Fireflies Opening Night w/ Post-Game Fireworks, then keep coming back as they face off against the Augusta Greenjackets and the Down East Wood Ducks at home this month. 

Lace up your running shoes and limber up for a weekend full of cardio during the SC Governor’s Cup Running Festival. 

Spring Serenades

Let’s give a round of applause for the concert lineup this month. Enjoy the spring evening air with an outdoor performance as Chaye Alexander presents Live at Boyd Plaza. Then go beyond Boyd Plaza and journey inside the art museum for CMA Chamber Music on Main and More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series Featuring Mimi Jones.

The S.C. Philharmonic is busy this month as they present Best of Broadway at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College and Scherezade at Koger Center. And speaking of Harbison Theatre, you won’t want to miss the fun of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox: Bringing Pop Music Back in Time. 

Pack out Township Auditorium to catch Rainbow Kitten Surprise, KC and The Sunshine Band, Whiskey Myers and Aaron Lewis in concert. 

Finally, Colonial Life Arena welcomes the Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour and Spring Jam 2022. 

Curated with Care

Whether you prefer to peruse as a spectator or get more hands-on, there’s plenty of programming this month that lets you go at your own pace.

Meander through museum galleries to see the exhibits currently on display, like Anila Quayyum Agha: Let A Million Flowers Bloom and Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams at Columbia Museum of Art and Face to Face: Portraits from the South Carolina State Museum.

Cinema buffs will enjoy Film Screening: Gates of Hell at Columbia Museum of Art or Purple Haze: A Conservation Film at Icehouse Amphitheater.

Practice mindfulness and zen with a guided meditation session and journaling activity with Meditation Mondays in the Anila Quayyum Agha: Let A Million Flowers Bloom exhibit. 

Try your hand at various art forms with Spring Workshop: Illustrious Illustrations, Spring Workshop: Sculpt Savvy and Art Class: Wheel Throwing Basics. 

Hear from the experts and join in on the conversation with FAAAC presents 22 South Carolinians Salon Series and CDL presents Mad for Mod with George Smart. 

Learn and be led on a guided experience through parts of the Columbia Museum of Art during Public Tour: Sculpture and Transformation in Rodin and Agha and Public Tour: Behind the Collection.