Fall is finally here, and with it comes Columbia’s perennial festivals! First up is the Sweet Tea Festival in Summerville, on Thursday, September 20. It is to be held in conjunction with Summerville’s monthly Third Thursday, when Downtown Summerville shops, restaurants, art galleries and more extend their hours and run specials. The festival will feature tea samples, tea tasting contest, food trucks and vendors, live music, and more! Squeals On Wheels Barbecue Restaurant, Booze Pops, Dean’s Meaner Wieners, Greekin’ Out, Miracle’s Tasty Express, The Ice Cream Team @Lola’s Lumpia Food Truck, Palmetto Sun Kettle Corn, Trolly Dolly Treats, Raising Cane’s and Mellow Mushroom (selling frozen, spiked sweet tea) are just some of the foodstuffs that will be available during the event. New 2018 Sweet Tea Mugs will be for sale as well.
Columbia’s popular Greek Festival is entering its 32nd year of entertaining people with cathedral tours, vendors, dancers, cultural exhibits, live music, and of course, authentic Greek food! From September 20-23, enjoy everything from entrées to pastries to Greek coffee, imported wine and beer, special lunch and dinner items from the festival Kitchen, such as such as broiled Greek chicken, Pastitsio, Peasant Shrimp, Keftedes (meatballs), and Roast Lamb, Greek salad, dolmades and spanakopita, your favorite a la carte items like gyros, souvlaki, a mezedaki (appetizers) plate, calamari, Greek roasted potatoes and much more, and finish your meal off with something from the pastry shop, a variety of Greek pastries and desserts, koulourakia, baklava sundaes, Athenian Chocolate Mousse and so much more. Opa!
On Saturday, September 22, join Historic Columbia for Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture, now in its 40th year! The Jubilee will feature musicians, DJs, MCs, artisans, dancers and storytellers, all coming together to celebrate South Carolina’s black history and culture on the grounds of the historic Mann-Simons Site. Plus, you’ll enjoy live music and entertainment, artist demonstrations, tours, street vendors selling a variety of wares, products and art, historic storytelling and family-friendly activities. The celebration will have plenty of food vendors on site, including Brown Sistaz Island Vibz, who will be serving up delicious, authentic Jamaican cuisine!
Fans of craft beer will want to attend The Inaugural Glass Half Full Fest at City Roots Farm, on Saturday, September 22. This exciting new event for City Roots Farm and the surrounding Columbia area is an all day celebration of craft brews, southern cuisine, and eclectic live entertainment, while raising money and awareness for Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. In addition to food vendors and entertainment, it’ll be the perfect time to try out some new brews from Conquest Brewing Company, Snafu Brewing Company, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, NoDa Brewing Company, Holy City Brewing, Cottontown Brew Lab and more! It’s a great time, for a great cause!
The annual Suds & Grub Beer & BBQ Festival on Saturday, September 22 will feature local-brewed beer, food from popular Columbia caterer, Joe Turkaly, live entertainment, auction and much more! Your $15 Ticket includes a hearty BBQ plate from Joe and a beverage ticket benefiting Palss SC. Craft beer and soft drinks are available. Enjoy a cool breeze, live music and a DJ!
The Irmo Okra Strut will be back for it’s 45th year, September 28 – 29, with live musical performances, dancing, amusement rides, food and drinks, local artists, exhibitors, Okra Eating Contests and more! The 45th Annual Irmo Okra Strut Parade will be held around 9am on Saturday, on St. Andrews Rd, between Wescott Rd and Lake Murray Blvd. After the parade, enjoy dozens of vendors and exhibitors, many of which will have games or free samples as well as items for purchase. This year, the Irmo Okra Strut will also feature “Under the Canopy”, where you’ll enjoy your dinner in a fairy-tale picnic setting on Friday and Saturday nights, with tables and chairs set up under lighted trees near the children’s playground. First class food vendors will offer items like crab legs from Ashley’s Yummy Tummy, and-dipped fried chicken or shrimp from Carmen’s of Atlanta, turkey legs from Middle Eastern Grill, okra eggrolls from Filipino American Assoc. of greater Columbia, and of course the best fried okra around, from the Lake Murray – Irmo Woman’s Club!
Saturday, September 29: Now in its 11th year, the Palmetto Peanut Boil is annual outdoor festival drawing thousands of attendees from all over the Midlands! Highlighting the best of the best cooks and recipes in SC, the Peanut Boil competition features over 20 teams vying for the honor of the championship trophy and bragging rights for another year. The Palmetto Peanut Boil also features live music, food, and kids entertainment. Admission is free, and all proceeds from the sale of food and beverages benefit the Animal Mission. The Animal Mission provides free or low-cost spay/neuter vouchers to all citizens of the City of Columbia and Richland County and prevents thousands of pets from entering the shelter system and facing euthanasia each year. Leashed pets are welcome at the Peanut Boil! More here.
Doko Fest 2018, Blythewood’s 3rd annual bluegrass festival, will take place on Saturday, September 29 within the Town of Blythewood’s Doko Meadows Park. New to Doko Fest this year will be a chicken wing cook-off featuring local and regional competitive cook teams, with over $1,000 in prize money! Enjoy live music by 2012 National Hammer Dulcimer Champion Matthew Dickerson, Savannah River Bluegrass Band, Salt And Light Bluegrass, and The Snyder Family Band. Doko Fest promises family-friendly fun for all ages! The park features an amphitheater, park playground, walking trails, restrooms and water fountains. The Blythewood Lion’s Club will be providing free vision screening to those in need. Local crafts and vendors will be set up in the park during the event, and along with tasty chicken-wing samples, there will be other foods, ice cream, and boiled peanuts served. Jam sessions will take place all around the park, so if you play an instrument, you’re encouraged to bring it!