We’re all for slowing down and luxuriating in the long, sun-soaked days as spring eases into summer, but why not mix in some activities, too? Columbia has plenty going on this month because longer days just means more time to do things. Enjoy festivals, concerts, cultural celebrations and much more all month long.

Spring and Summer Specials

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people, so recognize this important moment in history by attending the Juneteenth Freedom Festival & Parade, Juneteenth Celebration in Hopkins – Celebrating 150 Years at the Sam & Harriet Barber House Grounds or Juneteenth at the CMA.

Celebrate National Pride Month with Outfest Columbia 2022, Drag Bingo at the Columbia Museum of Art and Rhinestone Cowgirl at NoMa Warehouse.

Seasonal flavors shine this month with culinary-focused events like the 2nd Annual Boozy Brunch Crawl: Columbia, First Nazareth Baptist Church 2ndAnnual BBQ Cookoff, A Taste of Friendship, Columbia’s 7th Shrimp & Grits Fest, Tiki Harvest Dinner at City Roots, Forks, Knives & Spoonbills Conservation Dinner at Spotted Salamander and the inaugural Columbia VegFest at Segra Park

Between local markets like The NoMa Flea, Meeting Street Artisan Market, Soda City Market and Clemson Sandhill Farmers Market and special shopping events like Gear Swap 2022 at River Runner Outdoor Center, Antiques and More Galore at NoMa Warehouse, Y’all-Mart Summer Market at Art Bar and the Estate and Vintage Jewelry Event at Sylvan’s, your arms will get a good workout from all the shopping bags you’ll be toting around. 

We love any reason to get out and spend a day on Lake Murray, but tell us there’s a whole music festival taking place on the water and we’ll speedboat race you out there. Pack a cooler and load up on sunscreen for Reggaetronic. 

Log some hours at the ballpark this month to see the Columbia Fireflies take on the Augusta Greenjackets and Carolina Mudcats at home. Or, spend some time court-side at the Highstar Hoops HBCU Alumni Classic at Benedict College

If you’ve never taken the time to really learn about summer and the seasonal changes that come with it, then you won’t want to miss The Nature of Summer with Rudy Mancke at McKissick Museum, which is free and open to the public.

We’re all familiar with a classic paint and pour situation, but how about one with a twist? Sip Laugh and Paint Party (SLAPP) With Your Daddy also includes dinner and a comedy show. Sounds like the perfect night out to us!

And as always, First Thursday on Main gets your month started off on the right foot with live music, free access to Columbia Museum of Art, great deals, good food and more all along Main Street.

June in Tune 

Is it just us or do summer concerts hit different? From big national acts to local talent, the lineup this month runs the gamut.

Grab your tickets now to see household names like Small Talk with George Clinton and Bonnie Raitt: Just Like That Tour at Township Auditorium or James Taylor & His All-Star Band at Colonial Life Arena

Columbia Museum of Art’s event schedule goes well beyond what you’ll find in their galleries. Catch some tunes by way of FAAAC Presents Modern Rhythms, Restoration: A Concert Film and More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series featuring Benny Starr.

Get your fill of jazz with Jazz After 5, Chayz Lounge All Day White Party and Brandon Stevens Presents The Songs of Soul at Chayz Lounge or the Jack-N-Jazz Concert Series featuring Gino Castillo Trio, Mark Rapp Funktet, Nick Brewer, Soda City Brass Band and Reggie Sullivan Band each Thursday in June at Bourbon.

Come out to Boyd Plaza to see young and upcoming pianists show off their skills as Southeastern Piano Festival presents The Concert Truck.

If you’ve ever wanted to try your own hand at an instrument or two, then now’s your chance! Make Music Day Columbia at Koger Center allows anyone who wants to participate to jump in and make music with others on the summer solstice.

Flair for the Dramatics

Stay cool in a dark theater thanks to productions like Fiddler on the Roof, the Dwelling Place and The Palmetto Opera presents Great Moments in Italian Opera at Koger Center for the Arts

Extracurriculars

Some extra time off work or school means finally getting the chance to catch some of those exhibits you’ve been meaning to see. 

Show and Tell: Recent Acquisitions at the State Museum, Apollo 16 & Beyond: South Carolina in Space and Face to Face: Portraits from the South Carolina State Museum Collection can all be found at the South Carolina State Museum.

The McKissick Museum on the UofSC Horseshoe is currently displaying Catesby in the Carolinas, Inheritance: Sustainable Farms of the South, Invitation to Explore, The Medium is the Message and Wild Bees: Photography by Paula Sharp & Ross Eatman.

The Columbia Museum of Art has two new exhibits debuting this month – In the Shadow of Monet: Giverny and American Impressionism and Amanda McCavour: Bright Little Day Stars. And with them come corresponding programming like Public Tour: In the Shadow of Monet, Members’ Opening Celebration, Opening Day Artist’s Talk with Amanda McCavour and Contemporaries 101: Wine, Cheese, and Reflections of Bright Little Day Stars with Amanda McCavour.