Keep your fingers crossed for clear and sunny skies ahead, because there’s just too much going on around town for any April showers to get in the way of our fun. From cultural festivals and culinary romps to spring sports and artistic expressions, here’s just a taste of what you have to look forward to this month in the Heart of SC. 

Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival at Historic Columbia Speedway | April 4 – 7

With events being held throughout West Columbia, Cayce and Lexington, attendees can spend four days honoring the traditions of Celtic culture and heritage. The merriment begins Thursday with a kickoff party at Steel Hands Brewing, followed by a Celtic Concert at Icehouse Amphitheater on Friday. Saturday’s the main event with the Highland Games & Celtic Festival at the Historic Columbia Speedway to include Highland athletics, mass pipe bands, a Classic British Car Show, birds of prey, sheep dog herding, a Celtic marketplace, swordplay, traditional dancing exhibitions a Colonial Village and more, ending with Drumsmoke – An Evening of Campfires, Music and Tribal Beats. The weekend wraps on Sunday with a Kirkin’ of the Tartans custom at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater. 


Brew 2 Build Craft Beer Festival at Segra Park | April 5

Before we gather under the lights for the start of the Columbia Fireflies baseball season later this month, first come out to Segra Park for some good beer and a good cause. Partake in unlimited samples of more than 100 selections of craft beer and non-alcoholic options with representation from 13 different states and two other countries. Additionally, four of Columbia’s local breweries will be onsite with specialty brews exclusive to this event. Round out the experience with live music, games, BMWs on display and luxury raffle prizes. Please note this event is for attendees age 21+ only.


Columbia International Festival at South Carolina State Fairgrounds | April 6 – 7

A celebration of the more than 95 different global cultures represented throughout the state, you just might need both days to take in all the performances, ceremonies, exhibits, cuisines featured at the International Food Court and shopping at the International Bazaar that the festival has to offer. And if the Columbia International Festival has whet your appetite for more, there’s also the 5th Annual Irmo International Festival taking place later in the month April 28th at Irmo Community Park, during which you can catch a walking Parade of Nations, a car show, cultural booths and more. 


Dining on the Dam at Lake Murray Dam | April 7

If spending a cool spring evening enjoying food and refreshments while looking out over a sunset-streaked sky and body of water is one of your favorite (albeit specific) pastimes, then why not do it from atop one of the region’s most iconic landmarks – the Lake Murray Dam. Dance, drink and mingle with over 1,000 fellow guests in an atmosphere you won’t soon forget. 


Columbia Fireflies Baseball at Segra Park | April 9 – 14, 23 - 28 

Let’s Glow! The Columbia Fireflies are lighting up Segra Park for the 2024 season with two home game series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and the Augusta GreenJackets. Plus, for the latter three games against the GreenJackets, the Fireflies will take on a brand new, limited time persona – the Carolina Grits. Stock up on gear to support either (or both!) and being back in those stadium seats with a hot dog and cold beer in hand.


Arts & Draughts at Columbia Museum of Art | April 12

The springtime installment of the art museum’s biannual after-hours bash will have all the usual favorites – lots of live music, a scavenger hunt, food trucks, various arts and crafts activities and beer and wine selections curated by WECO Bottle and Biergarten, plus special features like a silent disco, karaoke, a Unique Perspective Tour led by Crush Rush, live screenprinting and a presence by the SC Black Pride organization. 


LMC Governor’s Cup Road Race at varying locations | April 12 – 13

A long-standing local running tradition – this year marks the 51st annual event – the Governor’s Cup is the most prestigious road race in the Southeast and the competition attracts the region’s top distance runners. Beginning with a Friday night Main Street Mile for adults and kids, Saturday morning sees the 5K Run/Walk and Half Marathon. The course begins near the State House and takes participants through several of the downtown entertainment districts before a festival-style environment greets runners at the finish line in the Vista with vendors, music, food, massages and more. 


Bark to the Park at Saluda Shoals Park | April 13

Columbia is home to plenty of dog-friendly events and festivals, but here’s one that’s completely dog-focused. Put your furry friend at the forefront with a leisurely trail walk and “After-Pawty” featuring vendors, pet contests and shows by K9s in Flight, plus live music and food and beverage options for the human attendees. 


Elvis Ballet at Koger Center for the Arts | April 13

Ballet 🤝 The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Join the South Carolina Ballet as they premiere this new multimedia production that blends visuals and lyrical choreography with some of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits like Jailhouse Rock, Heartbreak Hotel and more. You’ll be too transfixed by the talent onstage to get up and dance at your seat, no matter how much you might want to. 


Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden | April 19

It doesn’t get much dreamier than an evening spent amongst the lush vegetation of the Riverbanks Botanical Garden, except perhaps if there was also wine involved. Which, thankfully, there is! Sample from more than 120 different wines, pairing them with light bites from local restaurants. And if it isn’t vino you vie for, craft beer offerings will  be available in the Beer Garden, as well. This year’s event also features new elements such as a silent disco and a VIP experience with premium wines, exclusive food options and tasting sessions with an onsite sommelier. 


35th Annual Harambee Festival at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium | April 19

For more than three decades, the Harambee Festival has supported Benedict College’s mission to improve economic, social and cultural conditions within our community. Congregate on the Tigers’ home field for an educational day full of stage performances; free health screenings; Men’s, Women’s and Children’s Learning Villages; merchandise vendors and plenty of food. 


Artista Vista at various Vista locations | April 19 – 21

Find inspiration galore across three days of immersive arts experiences at one of the Vista’s longest-running events. The returning Art Gallery Crawl, Art Day, Light and Lantern Parade and Live on Lincoln functions are all in the lineup, plus a new Live Art Mart on Saturday. The Live Art Mart, conceptualized by artists for artists, is a juried art fair that lifts the veil and invites us to understand the artists’ personal creative processes. 


5th Annual Kinetic Derby Day at Meeting and State Streets | April 20

Head over to West Columbia for this unique annual event that puts creative thinking, competition and family fun in the spotlight. Beginning with a kinetic sculpture parade to kick off the festivities, the day advances with both children and adult soapbox competitions, a soapbox racing obstacle course, a food truck rally and an iMAGINE STEAM festival featuring demonstrations and interactive scientific experiences. And don’t even think about leaving before you’ve conquered the Giant Slide, either. 


Columbia Food and Wine Festival at various locations | April 24 – 28

Now in its seventh year, the Columbia Food and Wine Festival is back with an all-new look and an all-new mission, but you can still expect the same delicious formula. The five-day culinary extravaganza features four days of satellite events throughout the region including the inaugural Iconic Dishes of Columbia tasting event, a new Collaborative Kitchen series, an Asian Night Market at The Dragon Room, a High Noon Food Truck Rodeo at WECO Bottle and Biergarten and Bovinoche: Butcher + Bourbon at City Roots, among many more. The festival’s fifth and final day manifests as the signature Grand Tasting event with more than 60 local establishments showcasing some of the best sips and bites the Columbia region has to offer.  


Lower Richland Sweet Potato Festival at Hopkins Park | April 27

Venture away from downtown for a day of family-friendly fun in Hopkins. Beginning with a parade before a full day of live musical performances, arts and crafts, a sweet potato pie eating contest, carnival rides and plenty of food vendors serving up various sweet potato dishes and then some, it’s no wonder the event has grown over the years from a small community gathering into a full-fledged festival in its own right.