Your Guide to the 2021 Gervais Street Bridge Dinner
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 12:00 AM by Helen Dennis
After a year of anticipation, the Gervais Street Bridge Dinner returns. One of Columbia SC's most iconic events, the dinner closes the Gervais Street Bridge to vehicle traffic while hundreds of guests sit for a family style meal with an unbeatable view.
The inaugural bridge dinner was in October of 2015 and was the first public event able to be held after the Great Flood. It was the first date in which first responders were able to assist with a public event, and they were honored guests that evening in what turned out to be a much-needed moment of catharsis. Since then, the event has donated over $250,000 to local charities and become a staple event for the community.
Though the dinner traditionally takes place in the fall, this year's event is on Sunday, May 2, 2021. In discussing the change of date, Executive Director of Carolina Together Stephanie Amaker said, “When planning for the spring dinner, we wanted to think about all the newness that comes with the season yet honor the fact that we are moving out of a pandemic state. The word regrowth means to grow after an interruption and that is exactly what we are doing. The timing could not have been more beautiful to celebrate all of us sprouting into newer, sturdier individuals that are rooted in our community!”
Springtime welcomes warm temps for this outdoor event and inspires much of the food and beverage. The party gets going at 3:00 pm for VIP and 4:00 pm for general admission. Before dinner, take some time to walk the bridge, dance a bit, and snap pictures of the view while you sip on one of the six unique cocktails available. Guests will dine family style with seasonal dishes brought to their table (vegan and gluten free options will be available). Following dinner, desserts from Ally and Eloise Bake Shop round out the evening.
The Important Details & Pro Tips
The ticket procedure has changed a bit from years past, so you'll want to be ready. Tickets go on sale April 1 at noon, and they tend to sell out quickly. Instead of individual tickets, this year you'll need to round up a few friends and purchase a table for eight. The ticket includes all drinks, food and parking for the event. Parking is available at the South Carolina State Museum.
Dress for the event is snappy casual, and with an event that starts mid-afternoon and goes on past sundown you may want to wear layers. The trek from one end of the bridge to the other is not a short one, so comfortable shoes are recommended as you'll want to explore all the event has to offer.
For more events and happenings around Columbia SC, be sure to check out our events calendar.