Arts & Entertainment

Grab your partner: Ballroom dance academy opens in Columbia

Columbia’s dancers, and those who want to learn, have a new place to cut a rug. Elite Ballroom Dance Academy officially opened its doors with a Christmas Showcase on Saturday night at its new home at 3512 Bush River Rd., putting on a show for experienced dancers and newcomers alike, and raising money for Epworth Children’s Home in the process….

EdVenture lends worldly air to Christmas

'Festivals of Sharing' gives kids and adults a sense of how other cultures celebrate the season

Joyeux Noel, and Feliz Navidad, ya’ll. Celebrate winter holidays around the world at EdVenture’s annual Festivals of Sharing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 17. Children will learn the values of the “Season of Giving” by celebrating their own and others’ holiday traditions. Throughout the day, families can explore the festivities from around the world through performances, hands-on…

Local Music Spotlight: Barnwell growing their music, not changing their tune

The year 2016 was many things, but for Columbia band Barnwell it was the year they grew into a potent combo with a definite identity on their March release “Motel Art,” something singer/guitarist and primary songwriter Tyler Gordon acknowledges was a collaborative process that had been a long time coming. Image provided “The first EP we released in 2014 was…

Trans-Siberian Orchestra spectacular comes with local connection

West Cola native provides vocals for the powerful Christmas rock show set for Saturday

Most fans of Christmas music know the Trans-Siberian Orchestra through the group’s classic holiday hit “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24),” an instrumental that fuses arena rock excess and bombast with Broadway-worthy melody and a tinge of melancholic holiday spirit. The group didn’t start out to be a Christmas music juggernaut, but its history twists and turns through several other bands and…

Cayce-West Cola set Saturday for ‘Parade of Lights’

The Cayce-West Columbia Holiday Parade of Lights is one of the most-anticipated events of the season. Photos by Terry Ward The nighttime parade features lighted units that glow down 12 Street through West Columbia and Cayce. The number of parade entries reached capacity quickly this year. “We got more than the limit of 100-plus entries earlier this year than ever…

Deerfield Elementary teacher debuts first published book

A newly published author, Deerfield Elementary teacher Lauren Dasher, recently drew from her experiences to teach students about perseverance and the process to create a children’s book. Image provided Dasher’s first book, “Freddy Frog and His Adventure,” hit shelves in October and is available for sale at Amazon. The first-grade teacher says the concept for the book started when she…

Is there still time to get on the Nice List?

Santa and Mrs. Claus to visit EdVenture every weekend in December

The holiday season is in full swing in Famously Hot Columbia, and the city is hosting some very special guests during the month of December. Santa has arrived in Columbia, joined by his wife, Mrs. Claus. The two said they are excited to share part of their holiday season with children at EdVenture Children’s Museum in downtown Columbia. In fact,…

Christmas the way it used to be

Perhaps you once heard stories of old-fashioned Christmases from your grandparents or great-grandparents. The Lexington County Museum is working to bring that experience to life. Photos provided The museum will host its 20th annual Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will allow visitors to experience Christmas traditions of the past, as…

Local music spotlight: Unconventional rock duo Dreiberg says ‘Hi’

Despite the success of some high-profile examples such as The White Stripes or The Black Keys, the typical lineup of the average rock ‘n’ roll band is still overwhelmingly at least guitar, bass, and drums. Image provided Columbia duo Dreiberg is proving that less can be more even on a local level, and on its new EP Tell ‘Em We…

Snowball Festival weekend kicks off Christmas in Lexington

Baby, it’s … NOT cold outside. Still, despite the lack of holiday chill, folks in the Midlands can nonetheless get their fill of Christmas cheer when the Town of Lexington’s annual Snowball Festival kicks off its three-day run this Friday evening downtown. Here’s the lineup and what you need to know if you plan to attend. Friday, December 2: Concert and…

Meet Columbia’s ‘family of comedy’

No joke: Jenn Snyder, John Gibson and cohorts seriously at work building a vibrant local comedy scene

“Laughter is the best medicine.” “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Insert your favorite quote here, but the fact is that we tend to lean on our comedians for solace in difficult times. What many in Columbia may not realize, however, is that there is a thriving bunch of funny guys and gals who have forged a local comedy scene…

‘Festival of Trees’ kicks off local holiday season

Some say Thanksgiving Day is the official start of the holiday season, but in Columbia, many would argue that it begins with the Festival of Trees. The 27th annual festival is happening this weekend at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center downtown. It’s presented by Palmetto Health Foundation, with funds raised benefiting Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. It’s open to the public…

Local music spotlight: Kari Lebby and sandcastles.

Alone No More: Kari Lebby on community, catharsis, and overcoming depression

Even if you’ve never met Kari Lebby, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced something he has been involved in over the past several years in Columbia. Kari Lebby (Photo via Twitter @karilebby) From his collegiate joke-rap duo Sweet Vans, to roles at Trustus Theater (where Lebby is now a company member), to this past summer’s well-received Hoechella festival – and…

USC Symphony Orchestra teams up with virtuoso violinist

Maestro Donald Portnoy and the USC Symphony Orchestra will present a concert of Hanson and Shostakovich on Tuesday at the Koger Center for the Arts. And they’ll be joined by a very accomplished guest. Sandy Cameron (Image provided by USC) Sandy Cameron, a virtuoso violinist, joins the orchestra on Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto in A minor. Cameron has performed extensively as…

Talented tunesmiths convene for special Columbia event

“Songwriter's Serenade” on November 11 at Foxfield features Tonya Tyner, Kenley Young, and Richard Strater

South Carolina’s music scene is rich with songwriting talent, something the Palmetto Songwriter’s Association was founded to help promote. This week’s edition of their quarterly showcase, “Songwriter’s Serenade” – a free show to be held Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m. at Foxfield Bar and Grille at 406 Howard St. – features a trio of talented tunesmiths in Tonya Tyner,…

Columbia’s Main Street ICE returning for a fifth season

Sharpen up those skates and put that whole “Famously Hot” slogan in the deep freeze. Outdoor ice-skating is returning to downtown Columbia. (Image via Columbia Parks and Recreation Dept.) Main Street ICE, the City of Columbia’s outdoor ice skating rink, will return for its fifth season Thanksgiving Day at Boyd Plaza (at the corner of Main and Hampton streets), city…

So, who IS Trombone Shorty?

Get to know this year's Famously Hot New Year's Eve headliner

Trombone Shorty (Photo provided) In a video posted online Monday, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin announced the headliner for this year’s Famously Hot New Year’s Eve event will be Trombone Shorty & New Orleans Avenue, with support from 90’s hit-makers Sister Hazel and local rockabilly-punk band Capital City Playboys. It’s an unusual pick for the sixth year of the concert, which…

State Fair closes 2016 run with record attendance numbers

An expanded ride promotion, record football Saturday attendance and ideal weather lead to a banner year for the 147th South Carolina State Fair, which welcomed 464,878 visitors before the gates closed for the year Sunday night. The 2016 attendance figures marked an increase of 34,931 over last year’s fair, which followed after last October’s historic floods in the state. “We were thrilled to…

White Knoll student earns coveted spot with U.S. Army All-American Marching Band

Many try, but only a few succeed in landing a spot in one of the nation’s most prestigious marching bands and color guard. However, for the second year in a row, a Lexington County School District One student will represent White Knoll High School – this year as a color-guard member. Jennings Walker (Photo provided) Jennings Walker, a senior and…

‘Famously Hot New Year’ organizers to reveal headlining musical artist online Monday

Rock, Hip-Hop, or Soul? Some old-school Funk, perhaps? Or, maybe for the first time, a noteworthy Country music artist or group? A scene from the 2015 Famously Hot New Year. (Photo provided) If you’re among those wondering who will headline Columbia’s upcoming, sixth-annual “Famously Hot New Year,” event organizers will reveal the answer for all to see via an online…

New Lexington amphitheater envisioned as prime catalyst for downtown development

Ribbon-cutting ceremony precedes this weekend's inaugural Lexington Craft Beerfest

After numerous weather-related construction delays over the past 13 months, Lexington’s long-awaited downtown amphitheater is officially open for business. Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall cuts the ceremonial ribbon, officially opening the town’s new 900-seat amphitheater Thursday. (Photo by Hal Millard) Led by Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall, numerous local officials and business and civic leaders took part in an official ribbon-cutting ceremony…

‘Holy Schnitzel!’ Church’s annual Oktoberfest to celebrate German beer, food, and fun

Beer drinking and church-going might not normally go together, especially in the South. But when it’s Oktoberfest time, such norms can be tossed aside. That will be the case beginning this Friday at 11 a.m. when Columbia’s original Oktoberfest returns to Incarnation Lutheran Church, at 3005 Devine St. A scene from last year’s Oktoberfest at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Columbia….