Columbia Events: A Year in Review

Wow! What a busy year I have had. In a year’s time, I have attended more than 65 Columbia events… and you said there was nothing to do here! As it turns out, there is plenty to do here. There’s everything from society, politics, galas, and cultural festivals. And there is something for everyone; you just get out and do it. Here is a run down of some of the events I attended.

Society.

If you are looking for something that closely resembles the society life in other cities, the AKA’s Pink Ice Gala would be one of the best to qualify. This is one annual event that tends to bring Columbia’s elite, urbanites, and fabulous wannabes together all under the same roof. The best part about this event is that it gives the Average Joe and the Fabulous Jane a reason to get gussied up! The 2011 event is coming up next month and I suggest you find a soror and purchase your ticket right away. They usually sell out pretty quickly.

Other societal events I attended:

100 Black Men of Columbia Evening of Elegance Gala, Township Auditorium Grand Re-opening, Columbia Talented Tenth CEO Networking Reception

Politics.

Columbia is no stranger to the political scene. With a philandering governor, constant turnover in our city police department, and a newly-elected female Indian governor, who was also accused of philandering, we have an interesting combination of politics, scandal and entertainment. Columbia, without a doubt, has political satire on lock! But no story was perhaps as big as the story of Alvin Greene. Like many of you, I made the trek to Manning to hear Alvin Greene speak at the NAACP meeting. While I think many of us were a little disappointed in the seven minute speech, I found the event extremely interesting. After all, it was my first NAACP meeting. I had never been to one of these meeting before, and it took the likes of Alvin Greene to get me there. I was surprised when they sang church songs and took up an offering. If I had known that, I could have slept in instead of going to church earlier that morning; made it a two-for-oner. But it was a fabulous sight to see the national and international media flock to our state… to witness political satire at its best. You gotta love it!

Other political events I attended:

Columbia City Council and Mayoral Swearing In, Rob Miller Meet & Greet, Vincent Sheheen Women in History campaign party

Festivals.

If there is one thing that Columbia has plenty of, is festivals. And this year, I tried to attend every cultural festival as I could. Of all the festivals, my favorite was the Latin Festival. The energy and sense of community was amazing… and not to mention the food. The aroma of all the onions and herbs sizzling on the grill drove me crazy! But the best part of the whole festival was the hot (and by hot, I mean blazing), Latin cuties. Oh my god, they were beautiful. If you don’t go for anything else, go look at the men. Funny thing is, I haven’t seen a single one of the hotties since the festival. And I have been looking!

Other festivals I attended:

SC Gay Pride Festival, Columbia Greek Festival, Italian Festival, SC State Fair

Literary.

This year, I think Columbia was on every major author’s book signing tour. And I’m glad because I got to be up close and personal to some of my favorite writers. But the event that stands out the most is a book signing that didn’t even feature an author… it featured an actor who is starring in an interesting new form of storytelling, Blair Underwood and the vook. The vook is a combination of an electronic book and a movie. While much of the story is told in words, there is a portion that is actually acted out, as in a movie. And that is Blair Underwood’s role in the whole thing. Since I am a writer and much of a traditionalist, I give the vook at thumbs down, but I give Blair Underwood a huge thumbs up. He was fine. And as you can see, I am partial to fine. Anywho, being up close and personal to Blair Underwood made this event one of my favorites of the year.

Other literary events I attended:

Rene Syler book signing; Eric Jerome Dickey book signing; SC African American Literary Festival

Party with a Purpose.

Party with a purpose brings the best of both worlds. It allows you to get your groove on while supporting a worthy cause. You can do the electric slide and be philanthropic all at the same time. What a wonderful idea! One of the last events I attended this year is the Islam Shrine Temple No. 1 Champagne Life Holiday Gala. Much like the NAACP event, this was the first event of this kind that I ever attended, and I must say, the Shriners know how to party. I had a fabulous time at this gala. It was held at The Medallion Center and found this venue spacious and beautiful. And since the venue is owned by professional caters, Tronco’s, I had high expectations of the food. The food quality was good, but I would have liked to have seen a little more variety. Perhaps the best part of the evening was when the representative from all the temples made their grand entrances. When the home temple made there entrance doing the ‘wabba wabba’, the event went to a whole new level. And not to mention when Noble Goins and Commandress Buskey made their grand entrance doing a ballroom dance number. It was fabulous.

Other party with a purpose events I attended:

Tom Joyner Back to School Bash, Tavis Smiley Nationwide Tour, Belk Breast Cancer Awareness

So, this proves that there is always something fabulous to do in Columbia. I invite you to join me next year, as we explore the community around us through parties, galas, festivals and political events.

For more event reviews, go to ThatTeowonna.com.