From football and fried fair treats to Oktoberfest celebrations and spooky season shenanigans, plus plenty more, we have the rundown on Columbia SC’s packed-out schedule of events this October.

Trick-or-Treat

Why wait until All Hallows’ Eve to get in all the ghostly fun when you can participate all month long. Take the little ghouls and goblins out to Boo at the Zoo, Historic Columbia’s Trunk or Treat or the Go Leo 5K & Halloween Festival at Saluda Shoals Park. The night is full of frights – feel a shiver down your spine at the Deceased Farm haunted attractions. Try your hand at some potion-making with a Mixology: Halloween Themed Drinks class at The Main Course. Don your best costume and enjoy a wicked night out sans kids at The Grand’s Boos & Booze Halloween Party.

Fall Festivities

Raise your stein and prost to Oktoberfest at Steel Hands Oktoberfest, Savage Craft Oktoberfest, 3rd Annual Oktoberfest at Columbia Craft, River Rat Lagerfest and Polka, Pilsner & Prost! at Ebenezer Lutheran Church.

It’s a big month for F2T Productions, first with the return of the Great American Whiskey Fair, then with the milestone 10th Anniversary Harvest Dinner. Snag your tickets now, because they will sell out.

Get some shopping in at the 2021 Fall Plant and Flower Festival at the South Carolina State Farmers Market or the Fall Craft & Vendor Fair at Brookland Baptist Church.

Get ready to feast – join Steel Hands Brewing for an Oyster Roast on three separate Fridays this month or participate in the fall installment of Restaurant Week.

Join Historic Columbia for Family Flight Night Presented by Columbia Metropolitan Airport featuring a screening of “Planes” and Bluegrass, Bidding & BBQ, both at Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens.

After a couple drive thru experiences in fall 2020 and spring 2021, the South Carolina State Fair is returning to all of its in-person glory this year with all the rides, food, concerts and exhibits we know and love.

Celebrate your pride or show your support at the Famously Hot South Carolina Pride Parade & Festival, where Vanilla Ice is headlining.

You’ll have more than one reason to put on a costume Halloween weekend, as Soda City Comic Con takes over the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Car aficionados won’t want to miss the 6th Annual Cayce Moose Lodge Car Show.

Scope out the region’s newest event venue at The FARM’s Grand Opening Harvest Festival, an all-day event featuring food, drinks, live music, crafts, kid-friendly activities, shopping and chef demos.

Catch These Concerts

This month’s lineup of live music includes Cola Concerts featuring Ziggy Marley: A Live Tribute to His Father and Old Crow Medicine Show, MercyMe and the rescheduled Columbia R&B Fest at Colonial Life Arena, the return of Vista After Five each Thursday at Tin Roof and The Senate, a whole week of concerts around town for Navy Week, the hologram concert experience of L.O.L. Surprise! at Township Auditorium and Everclear at The Senate.

Center Stage

Plays and performances this month range from the family-friendly, like PAW Patrol Live!, the dramatic, like I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at Trustus Theatre, “Rumors” by Neil Simon at Drayton Hall Theatre and Scenes from “Metamorphoses” at Lab Theatre and the hilarious like Steve Martin & Martin Short at Township Auditorium.

Autumn Action

This month, the South Carolina Gamecocks play at home against Troy and Vanderbilt, so fill out the stadium and show your support!

Enjoy the fresh October air with a casual multi-day trek across the state with Bicycle Across South Carolina.

Engaging Exhibits

Pop into Columbia Museum of Art this month so see exhibits the powerful exhibits, Hindsight 20/20 and 30 Americans, or the light-hearted Soup to Nuts: Pop Art Prints from the CMA Collection. Head to the Robert Mills House and Gardens to see the festive annual Scarecrows in the Garden display. And don’t miss Carolina Knives: The Roots of a Revival at the McKissick Museum on the UofSC Horseshoe.

Faithful Favorites

Keep your calendars marked – First Thursday on Main is back again, Friday nights belong to The NoMa Flea and Saturday mornings are for Soda City Market. We’ll see you there!