Hot May Highlights: Crawfish, Jazz Fest and Drink Pink


From culinary and cultural celebrations to beverage and brewery bashes, plus art, music and more filling up the calendar in the coming weeks, the stage is set for a memorable May. Sneak a peek at this snapshot of signature spring events and begin mapping out your month in the Heart of SC.  


Rosewood Crawfish Festival at South Carolina State Fairgrounds | May 4

A Cajun-Creole dream come true, the Rosewood Crawfish Festival features 10,000 lbs. of fresh crawfish straight from Louisiana alongside vendors selling other cuisine staples like etouffee, gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys, boudin and more. Ça c’est bon


The Big Nosh at Tree of Life Congregation | May 5

This Jewish food and culture festival delivers all the brisket, kugel, latkes, matzo balls, challah, rugelach and more that you can devour on site and carry home to enjoy later. 


Historic Melrose Art in the Yard at Melrose Heights | May 5

Peruse and shop for one-of-a-kind handcrafted items from nearly 100 artists and makers while taking in the unique architecture of the homes in this historic residential area. Food trucks and live music keep the party going all afternoon.


Columbia Vegfest 2024 at City Roots | May 5

You might be surprised to learn that Columbia has a rather robust vegan food scene. Whether you’re a lifestyle devotee or a plant-based novice, come explore various vegan cuisine options, ethical products and conversations surrounding health, sustainability and compassion towards animals. Plus, there’s a Kid’s Fun Zone, so there’s a little something for the whole family to enjoy.


6th Annual Art on State at State Street in West Columbia | May 10

Equipped with all the makings for a great block party – live music, craft beer, food trucks and community – this event then goes the extra mile with shops open late, a nighttime edition of the Meeting Street Artisan Market and local artists live painting murals within parking spaces along the street.


WNBA Pre-Season: Las Vegas Aces vs. Puerto Rico at Colonial Life Arena | May 11

Colonial Life Arena has seen a lot of college talent dribble and shoot their way down the court over the years, but now the pros have a chance to take over. We can’t wait to welcome back Lady Gamecock alum and legend A’ja Wilson as her current team, the Las Vegas Aces, take on Puerto Rico in the pre-season.


Main Street Jazz Fest at 1700 Block of Main Street | May 11

This *free* music festival features prominent jazz musicians throughout the day, food vendors and opportunities to shop from artists and makers. The flexibility to come and go as you please means you can also pop in and support some Main Street District businesses while you’re out and about. 


13th Annual Lexington Wine Walk at Icehouse Amphitheater | May 11

If you say you love wine, then sure, you can talk the talk. But can you walk the walk? Grab your souvenir tasting glass and strut your stuff toward an evening of unlimited wine samples at this signature Lexington event.


South Carolina Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival at South Carolina State Fairgrounds | May 18

If your group can’t agree on a place to grab lunch, head to the fairgrounds, where 40 food trucks will be gathered to satisfy every craving. Indulge everyone’s palate and enjoy a day out in the fresh air with some craft beers in hand to boot.


Hop to Trot Beer Fest at Columbia Craft | May 18

Columbia Craft’s annual release of its award-winning Hop to Trot Hazy IPA is growing into a full-fledged festival this year. In addition to their own brews being available, you can also sample offerings from participating regional breweries like Edmund’s Oast, Savannah River, Peak Drift, Wild Leap, Holy City, 2 Blokes and Pangaea. Dress up in your finest derby attire for a chance to win prizes. We’ll see y’all in the Winner’s Circle.


Black Expo Columbia at South Carolina State Fairgrounds | May 18

Beginning Friday night with the Taste of Black Columbia event at the Columbia Museum of Art, the Black Expo continues on Saturday with lectures and exhibits designed to educate, enlighten and inspire, plus Black-owned businesses on site to shop from.


2024 Drink Pink Rosé Festival at Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens | May 19

Sorry, Barbie, but long before you took the cinemas by storm and caused an international pink paint shortage, this festival was creating a rosy world all its own. From the more than 100 different rosé wines available for sampling to the outfits attendees wear to their cheeks by the end of the afternoon from the said 100+ wines, the whole day is dripping in every shade of pink in the spectrum.


Woodstock at Steel Hands Brewing | May 25

Take a trip back in time at what has become a Memorial Day Weekend tradition. This year, you can begin the day with a special edition of goat yoga before a full slate of local musicians take the stage to perform hits from the sixties and seventies. Fully embrace the experience with your best fringe, flares, tie-dye and peace signs. 


AAPI Month Programming

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and commemorative community programming makes it easy for everyone to participate in recognizing this national designation. 

Head over to The Nick throughout the month for a film series showcasing diverse AAPI voices and stories. Catch Minari, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Lunchbox and Whale Rider for only $5 per ticket. Enjoy a day of traditional dance, martial arts and musical performances while supporting local vendors and organizations at Help Make a Scene – AAPI Month at Boyd Plaza.  

Try your hand at the Japanese art of sushi rolling with an interactive Sushi Making Class at Hanabi Hibachi and Sushi, complete with a welcome sake, specialty cocktail, appetizers and two sushi rolls.