April in Columbia means beautiful spring weather, fresh seasonal menus (best enjoyed al fresco) and more events than there is time to attend them all. Consistently the busiest month of the year every year, the entirety of April is a highlight reel. Enjoy this sampling (yes, this is the condensed version) of festivals, concerts, sporting events and much, much more to come in the absolutely action-packed weeks ahead in the heart of SC.
Tartan Day South | March 30 – April 2
The 11th annual Tartan Day South spans four days and celebrates all things Celtic culture and heritage. Showcasing traditions of Ireland, Scotland and England, the schedule of events includes a kickoff party at The British Bulldog Pub, a Celtic Concert at Icehouse Amphitheater, the Highland Games & Celtic Festival at the Historic Columbia Speedway and Drumsmoke – An Evening of Campfires, Music and Tribal Beats at the Historic Columbia Speedway Campground.
Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Clinton Sease Farm | April 1
Why should little kids dressed head to toe in chocolate-smeared pastels have all the fun when it comes to securing a solid Easter haul? It’s time to dust off the ol’ Easter basket and see if you still have the skills to step up to a real challenge. Head over to Clinton Sease Farm for an after-dark egg hunt complete with beer, wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, games and raffles for cash and prizes. Don’t forget your flashlight!
Columbia International Festival at South Carolina State Fairgrounds | April 1 – 2
For 27 years and counting, the Columbia International Festival has worked to build better community and race relations between various ethnic, cultural and language groups by celebrating those represented throughout the state via music, food, performing arts and more. Try global cuisines at the International Food Court, shop from the International Bazaar, peruse about 100 different national exhibits, catch the International Flag Ceremony and more across the two-day event.
Welcome Golf Fans | Dates and locations vary
With a certain major golf tournament happening just an hour down the road, Columbia tends to see a lot of those visitors this time of year. Immerse yourself in a whole week of community events and programming that extend the golf experience beyond the course. Find out more here.
Dining on the Dam at Lake Murray Dam | April 2
Sometimes the thing that can take a meal from good to unforgettable is location, location, location. And we think atop a dam more than delivers on the ambience front. Take in the sweeping sunset views over Lake Murray while enjoying a delicious catered meal, an open bar and live music all evening long.
Columbia Fireflies Baseball at Segra Park | Dates vary
Hey batter batter, it’s time for a fresh new season of Minor League Baseball with our beloved Fireflies. Don your navy and neon and settle into a seat or sprawl out in a sunny patch of grass on the berm. Opening night is April 6 against the Augusta Greenjackets with the rest of that series and subsequent home games against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers sprinkled throughout the rest of the month. We can practically taste the hot dogs and cold beer already.
Artista Vista | April 14 - 16
The Vista district’s signature three-day art festival is back for its 31st year. Kick the weekend off with a free Friday night art gallery crawl. Saturday is Art Day with events happening at Stormwater Studios, Lewis + Clark and One Eared Cow Glass before the Light and Lantern Parade makes its way down Lincoln Street at night. On Sunday, shop handmade creations from dozens of Southeastern artists during Crafty Feast and then snag a ticket to the Live on Lincoln outdoor performance that evening.
South Carolina State Fair Spring Drive-Through at South Carolina State Fairgrounds | April 16 - 22
Get ready for powdered sugar, fried dough and all kinds of foods on a stick by the carload, because the ever-popular South Carolina State Fair Spring Drive-Through is back! A whole year is just too long to go without some Fiske fries, ya know? Plus, new experiences like a Walk-In Kickoff Day, dine-in picnic table seating and free movie nights this year give you ample reasons to come back for more (as if you needed any).
Columbia Food and Wine Festival | April 19 – 23
The five-day feastathon is back again this year, featuring four days of signature events around town including Mixer on Main: The Remix, a Mezze on the Menu Mediterranean lunch and Concert on the Runway at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, among others, and a culminating Grand Tasting event on Sunday to cap it all off. Come hungry, because you certainly won’t stay that way long!
4th Annual Kinetic Derby Day at State + Meeting Streets | April 22
With a mission to inspire creative problem-solving and build community pride through competition and family fun, Kinetic Derby Day is back with a full day of activities like a Kinetic Sculpture Parade, soapbox racing, an obstacle course and iMAGINE STEAM festival, plus a food truck rally, giant slide and the weekly Meeting Street Artisan Market. See the creativity unfold and spur your own imagination in the process.
Bark to the Park at Saluda Shoals Park | April 22
A festival for our four-legged friends!? We’re there with bells on. Partake in a leisurely 1.7-mile walk before moseying on over to the After-Pawty featuring contests, pet-friendly vendors, live music, craft beer and more benefitting homeless pets throughout the region.
Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden | April 28
Spring is the ultimate season for sipping wine outside. And what better place to do so than within Riverbanks Zoo’s stunning botanical garden? Meander through the various flora, tasting glass in hand, and enjoy the bouquets in more ways than one.
Drink Pink Rosé Festival at Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens | April 30
Still, sparkling, sweet, brut… so many ways to drink rosé and plenty of time to try as many as you can during the 8th annual Drink Pink Rosé Festival. More than 100 different rosés available to sip on are complimented by a cheese tasting table and three different kinds of paella prepared by Chef Kristian Niemi. An onsite wine store allows you to order the labels you loved the most, so be sure to take note of the ones that you can see yourself enjoying at home. Oh, and though pink outfits aren’t necessarily required, they do seem to have become somewhat of an unspoken dress code over the years.
Columbia VegFest 2023 at Segra Park | April 30
If dietary restrictions have you feeling a bit left out from the other food-focused events this month, then Columbia VegFest is here for you to get your fill of plant-based fare. Congregate in the shade of Segra Park’s concourse and try all kinds of vegan offerings (including beer!) from various vendors.
8th Annual South Carolina Cornbread Festival at NOMA Community Garden | April 30
Following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, this Southern side dish favorite is back to being the star of the show as the SC Cornbread Festival makes its triumphant return. Work your way down Cornbread Alley, see if you can stand the heat in the Cornbread Cook-Off, have some water handy for the Cornbread Eating Competition, take the kids over to the Corn Muffin Playland and catch who gets crowned in the Little Miss Muffin Pageant.
Concerts | Varying dates and locations
If you can make some time for music this month, we promise you won’t regret it because the lineup is too good. Just a few shows you can catch in April include Little Big Town taking the stage at Township Auditorium on April 22, Kristian Bush of Sugarland doing a free solo set during the Bassmaster Elite Series at Dreher Island State Park also on April 22, the iconic Janet Jackson: Together Again on April 25 at Colonial Life Arena and the Southern Sounds Music Festival featuring Admiral Radio, Lindsay Holler and Rebekah Todd on the outdoor Koger Center Plaza Stage on April 30.